10+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2008
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I just found out I passed step 3 (barely 194), but I passed. I am a surgical resident in my last year and never took step 3 for a variety of reasons and going back to study all the crap that I hated in med school was an unpleasant task to be sure. My advice - take Step 3 after your intern year! Do not put if off! I also want to thank the many people who posted advice on this site. I thought I would give my two cents in case it could help someone else out there. This is what I did. I studied at least three months (evenings mostly) and it was pretty irregular cause I was so busy with work. But I read Crush step 3 cover to cover a couple of times. I did all the questions on the usmleworld site and read the explanations twice. I was VERY rusty on the primary care stuff and going back to look at peds, OB, psych etc.. for a surgeon was simply torture. But that is what I did. No offense to my colleagues in those fields - I think you understand what I'm saying. I was scoring in the 40's-60% on the usmle world questions which I did in tutored blocks of 48 questions. I thought the questions were hard but so were the ones on Step 3. I also did usmleworld's CCS and found it to be very helpful in figuring out and getting a field for how stupid the real CCS software is on step 3.On the day of the exam itself, it was just like everyone says. LONG! You gotta pace yourself and you can't panic. I did though at first. I calmed down after about the 10th question and just started doing the best I could. There were sections that I thought I was getting all the questions wrong, but you gotta just keep going. I didnt have much time at all after each section to go back and look stuff over. Maybe a minute or two. The next day was shorter and I was done at around noon. The CCS was a guy with chest pain, a girl with vaginal bleeding, an old lady with rheumatoid, the usual garbage. When I was done it felt like it honestly could have gone either way. I got lucky and passed. Thank God! To anybody out there studying or preparing for it, take heart. If I can pass this damn thing so can you! I have always been terrible at taking these test. I mean terrible! I am a very good surgeon and a good doctor (at least thats what I am told), so this is just another hoop to jump through. Do not give up, keep at it, and I honestly wish everyone good luck!!
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