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and the Brain
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15+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2001
Chicago, IL
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I'm not really sure how our medical licenses work.

Background: I'm doing a prelim medicine year in illinois right now. Next year, I'm off to Texas to start my neuro residency. Afterward, I'd like to have the option of practicing in Hawaii or returning to Illinois.

I'm trying to see if I can take step III as soon as possible since I'd like to avoid the clinical skills exam and also take it while the medicine is still fresh. Illinois however requires finishing at lesat one year of post-grad training before taking step 3 while other states like Texas do not. States like Illinois also limit the number of attempts before passing while states like Florida do not. Some have told me that I can apply to get my license in a state like Florida so that I can take Step III now but still take the actual test in Illinois? Is this true?

If I do get a license from one state, do I need to take another test to eventually work in another?

for those who have taken step III, is the old adage pretty true:
step 1 - 2 months
step 2 - 2 weeks
step 3 - 2 pencils

I thought it was pretty accurate for step 1 and 2 and even got the same score on both.


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Partner Organization
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Jun 25, 2002
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I don't know of the specifics of those states, but search for "medical licensing state of X', to find your state's website.
for example, the CA website gives "Physician's and Surgeon's license" applications via PDF or mail, and they have requirements. I would recommend getting the license applications for states you are interested in.

Good luck

Jim Picotte

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Nov 7, 2001
Traverse City, Michigan
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Don't worry about the CSA, it's part of Step II so you've already grandfathered yourself out of that if you've taken Step II.

No, you don't have to take another test, but you'll have to go through the hassle of applying for a license in two states (sometimes takes months) and extra money. I'd just take Step III at the start of your PGY-2 year in Illinois.
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