Step1 right after M2 year or not?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by chef, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    what do u think of mstp's not taking step1 right after m2 year? instead you'd do a nice paced comprehensive review throughout the phd years, and study 1 month hardcore and take the step1 before you return to the wards in july. i've seen several mstp's who defend their thesis around feb-april and just spend the 3-4 months unproductively. also doing this will help you excel in the wards since the stuff will be fresher in your mind?
     
  2. vwhan

    vwhan Senior Member
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    I can see the advantage of taking it before the wards so the info will be fresh. However, I would recommend taking Step 1 as soon as possible and getting it over with. Don't forget you will have 2 comprehensive exams and a defense. I think you will be too busy with graduate work to be studying for the boards. Plus, you never know how things will turn out with graduate work, and you maybe hurrying in finishing stuff up to start rotations on time.
     
  3. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
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    ... there is also that rule... I think you have to take all of your licensing exams within 7 years. So, depending upon how long the PhD takes... you may have to take Step 1 again.
     
  4. surge

    surge Medicinski Znanstvenik
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    I've never heard of anyone having to take Step I again. Most states with the seven year rule have special provisions for MD/PhDs and in cases in which they don't, you can appeal - usually your director, advisor and the school do this, and, as I've said, I've never heard of it not working out.
    My understanding is that the seven year rule was set up to prevent FMGs from taking and retaking Steps II and III if they couldn't pass them.
     
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  5. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    For the love of God, do not put off Step 1 for 3-4 years! I predict you would be one giant stress-ball if you had to finish your thesis, defend, and review those two distant years' worth of med school all in a span of 6 months or so. Seriously, I do not think you would be better prepared even if you were to do a comprehensive review over your PhD years, simply because M1-M2 is meant to prepare you to take the boards in a timely fashion. I don't think MSTP'ers really have the time to do that much reviewing, or at least they prefer not to spend their free time that way. At the end of your 4 lab years, you will have re-forgotten many things anyway.

    I think it would be better to take Step 1 first, especially if you can take a couple extra months to study before starting your PhD work. Then, if you really want to be prepared for rotations, do a well-paced readthrough of Harrison's and/or some other good reference books.
     
  6. ATLien1224

    ATLien1224 Member
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    DO NOT PUT IT OFF!!

    I know a student at a certain MD-PhD program across town from me that waited until nearing completion of her PhD to take Step 1. She failed. Now I am not saying that this will happen to you, but in general, MD-PhDs should not be failing the Boards, and I have no doubt that she would have passed had she taken them after second year. Since I am taking Step 1 in about 6 weeks, I am now realizing what an immense amount of material I have to re-learn (and am currently avoiding learning by writing procrastination-laden posts like this). If I gave myself 4 years to forget all of that, it would definitely be a difficult obstacle to surmount. In addition, while it depends on the program structure, you might not have any significant amount of time between completing your PhD and going back to the wards in which to study, so you don't necessarily want to rely on that (for instance at Columbia some people have a few months, but some only have a couple weeks).

    Take them after second year. No doubt. Also don't worry about the "7 year rule." Exceptions will be made for MD/PhDs when necessary and no one will have to take Step 1 twice.
     
  7. coldchemist

    coldchemist Biowulf
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    A little off the topic, but how many times a year are the boards administered? Can you just schedule them whenever?
     
  8. ATLien1224

    ATLien1224 Member
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    Hey coldchemist,

    As far as I remember from when I registered, you can take Boards at any time of the year (there might be a couple of weeks blacked out somewhere, but for the most part it's year-round).
     
  9. coldchemist

    coldchemist Biowulf
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    Cool...thanks. :cool:
     
  10. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
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    I havent done a comprehensive review of all states, but I believe there are at least 6 or 7 states which do NOT allow you any exceptions to the 7 year rule.

    I know Oklahoma is one of these states. They flat out refuse to grant any exceptions, even for MSTP students.
     
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  11. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
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    Does TX grant exceptions?
     

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