Dec 7, 2013
Medical Student
Hey guys,

I am a first year MBBS student in a Pakistani medical college. I wanted to ask about the USMLE and clinical electives. Namely, when should the USMLE be taken? Some say at the end of third year [i.e end of basic sciences] some say after graduation. I know electives should be taken while still a student, but should those be taken ASAP, or in 3rd/4th year as well? Is there any ranking to the clinical electives you take? I'm given to believe taking electives in the US is best, while taking them at a hospital you would later want to join up with is even better. Could someone share their insight with me? I'd be much obliged. Thanks!


5+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2013
My friend, your putting the cart before the horse, don't even think about electives until you have a passing Step I score.

If you study with a sense of urgency now, you can take Step I at any point in your third year. If you don't study for Step I, you take it after your graduate, and be prepared to sit out a couple years before you apply for residency.

Use First Aid as your syllabus to figure out what material to read in your textbook, not review books, pertinent to what material you are studying for your local exam. Go through UWorld as well. Don't be scared, be brave and get your a__ in gear and studying as if your prepping for a University exam.