7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
Medical Student
I am a Canadian citizen (No US citizenship or PR status) who is currently studying in a US allopathic medical school. I would like to complete residency in the US and later practice in the US.

I remember reading a thread about this on SDN a while back, but can't seem to find it anymore. Someone said that due to visa regulations, students in my situation have to take and pass all 3 Steps of the USMLE prior to the start of internship year of residency or something?

Does anyone know the exact guidelines?


Edit: after some more searching, it seems that in order to get the H-1B visa, I would have to pass USMLE Steps 1-3. But since I am graduating from a US school, I get one year of F-1 OPT; does this mean that I can take Step 3's in my first year of internship?
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5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2014
Medical Student
Holy lord, are they seriously using the H1B for doctors as well? What in *$*$#*$#&* are they thinking. What if I'm a DO and don't want to take the USMLE.

More information would be appreciated, bump.


Pastafarians Unite!
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
Attending Physician
It's actually a complicated question. technically, coming from a US medical school needing an H1b, you should not need to take Step 3. However, IMG's from non-US schools would need to take Step 3 for an H1b. Regardless, you should plan to take Step 3 in your PGY-1, and many programs require this for everyone anyway.

For a DO, COMLEX should be fine.