USMLE Step I and IMGs

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by leorl, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I thought it might be useful to start a list of USMLE tips for IMGs, to supplement SDN's USMLE forum. Please add to this list if you've found something in particular (study method, books, tips, anecdotes) that has helped you out while taking the steps.

    Although the USMLE is the same for everyone who takes it, the means of achieving our goals are different. The exams are difficult, no matter how smart a person is or how good the training is at your medical school - it requires an extensive committment to self-study. For US medical students, the "normal" amount of preparation time seems to be about 5 weeks. For IMGs, I would recommend at least 8-10 weeks regardless of whether English is your native tongue or not. The reason is this: we have to do a substantial amount of self-teaching for subjects which may not be covered in as much detail as the USMLE wants, and getting used to the style and terminology takes practice. This should not be taken at all as an implication that foreign schools are not of the same standard as US schools, but an indication that there is a difference in the style of education and topics focused on.

    Step I costs $685 USD, plus surcharges if you're taking it somewhere other than the US or Canada. It focuses on pre-clinical subjects: Anatomy / Neuroanatomy, Behavioral Sciences and Statistics, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology.

    Areas which may require more time for IMGs to become intimately familiar with: behavioral science, biochemistry (especially deficiency of enzymes and resulting syndromes), genetics, cell biology, immunology, selected topics in microbiology, embryology, epidemiology and histopathology. It sounds like a lot, but it isn't too much - they are subsections of the larger subjects. Still, it would be worth your while to invest some time into these subsections.

    The exam itself is computer-based. 7 60-minute sections of 50 questions each, plus 45 minutes of break time (including lunch. Increases to 60 minutes if you skip the tutorial at the beginning).

    The goal of the IMG should be to not only pass, but to beat the US national average (the mean is between 200 and 220, usually around 215). You must score a 182 on the 3-digit scale and a 75 on the 2-digit scale to pass. However, hopefuls should aim higher than this because US programs will want a "reason" to select you over another qualified US-educated graduate, and a high Step I score will strengthen your application. But as high as an IMG may aim, putting it into practice is more difficult, so many try to aim for the US average or a comfortably passing score.

    For Step I, the most essential book to get is each year's most up-to-date edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step I. In it (and in first aid books for the subsequent steps), they have useful information for IMGs including info. on visas, the Ecfmg, and general usmle strategies. Also visit www.usmle.org for information and www.ecfmg.org for registration.
     
    DynamicMD likes this.
  2. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    1) As soon as you know when you'll take Step I, buy the most current edition First Aid for the USMLE Step I. You want to take it when you've completed all your pre-clinical subjects (usually pathology is the last one to be taught, so after you've completed pathology). However, having some clinical experience is useful as well, because seeing diseases and seeing drugs used in practice is helpful to remembering. Also, having experience in psychiatry may help because psych patients and psych study isn't something you would see regularly in a mainstream hospital. So if your course is 6 years, you may want to take it during or after your 4th year. If you're in a 5 year program, you may want to take it after the 3rd or during the 4th year. It depends how your lecture subjects are structured.

    2) When you start studying for Step I, annotate First Aid as soon as you begin! When I first started studying, I flicked through the book and didn't really know how to use it, as some information (i.e. anatomy) isn't presented in any particular order. So I learned out of outside books (high yield, brs) and notes, then tried to remember when going through First Aid to put it all together. But it works MUCH better if you have First Aid sitting in front of you when you study a subject and then write in the book to put in more detail a specific topic that comes in First Aid. This may mean jumping around a little in FA as you annotate, but it's worth it. I wasted a lot of time not doing this.

    3) In the few days/week before taking the exam, only study out of First Aid! This is why annotating FA is important as you proceed through study. The reason you only want to study out of this book in the end is that it concentrates all your material into one place, instead of having a lot of little notes/books scattered all over, trying to put together the pieces. If you need more space to write and draw diagrams, do it on loose-leaf paper and then clip the notes to the page of FA it corresponds to.

    4) Do lots of practice questions to get used to the style and presentation. You may find that especially in pathology, you don't use recognize a particular group of symptoms as a certain syndrome. It takes a while to coalesce all the presenting signs into something recognizable. Also, the USMLE is full of three-tiered questions (i.e. you have to recognize the syndrome presented, then you have to recognize the drug or management plan of the syndrome, and then you have to know the mechanism of action of that drug).

    Practicing using Kaplan Q-bank (www.kaptest.com) can help although it's expensive, as well as Q-book and the NMS book for review questions, but doing something computer-based is the best since it is a computer exam. Also, the NBME offer practice exams for $45 with 4 50-block sections. These are a good prognostic indicator of the score you receive. I would recommend taking these at set points in your study (ie. after 3 weeks of study, then again after 5 weeks) to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. Also, I would NOT recommend taking them a couple days before your exam, as if you don't achieve the score you want, it can freak you out!

    5) So in summary: Annotate First Aid from the beginning, do Kaplan Q-bank religiously, take an NBME practice set of questions or two at set intervals. To aid study in areas IMGs may be deficient, I'll recommend some books: High Yield Molecular Cell Biology, Lippincott's Biochemistry (takes time, start early), BRS Pathology, BRS Physiology, Clinical Micro Made Ridiculously Simple (USMLE likes to ask viruses), BRS Behavioral Science, High Yield Embryology.

    I didn't do all of what I've said in here, but these are things that in hindsight I realize would have been quite valuable. I'd heard other people say these things, but wish someone would have made me do them from the very beginning!
     
  3. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Taking the 7-8 hour exam isn't as grueling as I thought it would be. I was worried because I fall asleep very easily and didn't think I'd make it through the day. I faded towards the end, but made myself do the water and coke trick so I'd be forced to take bathroom breaks at regular intervals. A little drastic maybe, but you do what you have to!

    1) Bring two forms of ID and your ticket to the test center. They only need 1 ID (driver's license) but sometimes want to see a passport as well in case they can't read a signature or something (don't worry, you can lock it up).

    2) The Prometric centers are comfortable, so if you get warm easily, don't wear too many layers - if you go in with a sweater, you have to keep it on the entire time. During breaks, you could remove it and put it in your locker.

    3) When reading the questions on the computer, use your mouse to highlight clues. This lets you just focus on those when analyzing a question instead of having to read the question multiple times. Also, if you have slight ADD like I do (ok, fine...self-diagnosed...), it makes you concentrate on your question instead of getting annoyed at the person next to you who's fidgeting. Use the mouse to cross out (or fade out) answers you know are incorrect so that the possibilities jump out at you more.

    4) If you've done practice questions online, then timing shouldn't be an issue. I had enough time to answer all questions, but didn't really have time to go back over ones I'd checked to come back to. If you have no idea what a question is asking (and there will be a few like that), don't get panicked - just make some sort of guess (whether educated or not) and move on. There will be plenty more that you do know.

    5) At the same time, take the time to really think through the question. Some of the answers aren't that obvious and the choices available can get really tricky (those bastards!), so just think through it. More annoyingly, there will be those questions that you know you've reviewed and you know you Should know, but the final answer is clouded in your memory. If you can think logically, you can try to tease it out of your brain.

    Anyway, I think that's all from me for awhile. Please add to these lists!
     
  4. thewebdoc

    thewebdoc -=The Web Doc=-
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey,
    I'm from kenya, east africa. hope to give my step 1 in July or August of 2006. Great resource here, lays a good ground work for planning study. :)

    Thanx.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. kemc

    kemc Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    "leorl" Thanks for explaining things. Great job!
    I did pass the Step I couple of months ago with 88%. SDN had been a great resource. Going to take Step II CK in few months.
     
  6. jaide

    jaide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    thnx for the tips...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. jtkh

    jtkh New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Is it true that IMGs, even if they do well in USMLE1, are placed in the 3rd pool of candidates in job application, after US citizens, and Canadian citizens?

    What about international citizens, who graduate in US medical schools?

    Why are so many IMGs seeking to work in the US? What are the pros and cons of practicing in the US?
     
  8. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Pecking order is probably USMGs/DO's/Canadian MG's (although a little harder with visa) >> US IMGs > Foreign IMG's. But the difference between the latter two groups isn't that big. International graduates of US medical schools would probably be counted in the US MG group, with employment visa considerations (which can be hard to overcome).

    Why would people want to come? At the moment, the US has the most advanced and numerous access to technology and resources, and in some fields, a shorter route through residency to consultancy (ie. to attending), and higher attending salary. Cons are the cost and difficulty of the USMLE because it's quite different from exams around the world, lower pay in the junior doctor roles, and less vacation time.
     
  9. inzal

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    hi,thanks for all the information,pls can you tell us about all the books that we should study for the prep +any other tip to plan the studies
     
  10. peacefuljourney

    peacefuljourney New Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello,

    Thanks for starting this tread and for the good info. I've been doing the things you suggested from day 1. Hope it helps in the end. I can't really comment on how effecitve I've been as I haven't yet written the boards.

    Maybe you can share your thoughts on timing when you get a chance. I'm in a 6 year program. Years 5 & 6 are clinical and are basically geared towards Step 2. So, I'm thinking of taking Step 2 first and then backtrack to do Step 1. The problem with this is that I'm worried about timeframes.

    Graduate: first week of July
    Step 2 target date: end of July (prepping during term) so just need to review here.
    Step 1 target date: end of September. (prep for August, September). Results - end of October.

    I thought hospitals began to make decisions re: interviews in October and did interviews in Nov-Jan. BUT this year I started to see people getting interviews in September. AND I started to panic. Is my timeframe way off? Will I be too late to secure interviews?

    Clearly because of my timeframes, I won't be ECFMG certified until late fall - definitely not when I start to submit paperwork to ERAS in September.

    The other way to do it, is just focus on Step 1 to move the results up by 2+ weeks and then do step 2. Maybe admissions people really want to see that Step 1 score in there early and don't care as much if the Step 2 trickles in later.

    And, I'm Canadian and thus need a H1B visa.

    Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. I really don't want to lose 2 years but don't know how to condense the timeframes anymore.

    Thanks, S-
     
  11. Miklos

    Miklos Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    S,

    I don't know if I'd recommend backtracking. To some extent, the material tested on Step 2 CK builds on Step 1 material. For this reason, I think that there is an advantage to having completed Step 1 first. Plus, unless you have command of the material your study schedule for Step 1 looks quite optimistic to me.

    Also, don't forget that you need Step 2 CS for your ECFMG certificate and Step 3 for an H1B. The scheduling for this can be quite tricky.

    Good luck.

    Miklos
     
  12. eskimo

    eskimo New Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's my experience with Step 1 (taken August 11th, 2006):

    From June 2005 - May 2006 I put Goljan's audio pathology on my mp3 player and listend to it on my walks to and from class (about an hour a day), overall I listened to this about 6 times

    I started reviewing 1 subject at a time from June 2006 till August 2006 (I studied in Poland for 3 weeks, went to Canada to participate in a wedding and then to Texas to start studying again....try not to have interruptions like this!!!) I also did the Kaplan Qbank every now and then (had use of it for 2 months).

    For the 10 days before the exam I only did Qbank (averaged about 68%). I did all the questions first (exam format) and then went back and did all the questions, one at a time, that I had gotten wrong.

    List of books used:
    Biochem: Harper's Biochemistry
    Physio: Ganong (I think that was the author's name), it was a Lange series
    Pathology: Goljan audio and his book
    Anatomy: reviewed illustrations in Netter's
    Pharm: Rang, Dale, Ritter, Moore Pharmacology
    Microbio: Microbiology Made Rediculously Simple
    Didn't really review embriology or histology

    August 11th:
    Got close to running out of time on my first block. Took 2 minute break and just looked at my computer screen. Then I completed the next 3 blocks straight through with about 10 - 15 minutes left in each block to review marked questions. Then I took a 10 minute break to eat an apple in the break room. Then I finished the exam straight through.
    Most of my exam consisted of pathophysiology and pharmacology. I got lucky because I love these subjects!! Also, all together I had about 10 questions over anatomy, embryo, and histo (lucky me since these are my weakest subjects).

    Then I waited 8 weeks for my score....233/94 :D

    My one biggest piece of advice is to learn everything well the first time around and really let the time before your exam be a review and not a learning experience. Also, bring some thick clothing because my testing room was freezing!!!
     
  13. henry2006

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    guyz i m mbbs student frm india.can any 1 tell tat can we give step 2 cs exam n step 3 on visitors visa??????if we take visa for 10yrs visitors can we give that exams?????????
     
  14. Shah_Patel_PT

    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    US IMGs are easily above canadian born IMGs. And in some places they are ahead of DOs as well.
     
  15. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    yeah, it gets a little fuzzy depending on which program and the history of that program. But in general, that's the hierarchy.
     
  16. ROBINHO

    ROBINHO Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    32
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Leorl
    For the records...I want to thank you for the wonderful works you are doing here. Very resourceful info here.
    ........................................

    I plan to write the Step 1 exams at the end of 2007 when I am ending by 4th Academic year, Step2 CK at end of 5th year and Step 3CS at mid 2009 whiles I graduate in December 2009. Hope everything will work out well(Timing).
    .......................................


    Good luck to all IMGs
     
    #16 ROBINHO, Dec 26, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  17. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Thank you...that's what we're here for :)
     
  18. sga430

    sga430 Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    i feel many IMGs dont take the the NBME exams. they often ask if they r ready. i feel the best answer is the NBME score. if u like it, take it. otherwise study more.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. Golfermylove

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hi there!

    Is there a required time frame like no. of years after graduation to pass steps 1-3. Ive been a practicing gp for 7 years. Can I still take it? Will I be able to get matched at all?
     
  20. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I believe the time frame is 7 years. So if you took the steps in 2000, I'd recommend calling the ECFMG and asking about validity for the 2008 match
     
  21. BabyPsychDoc

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    There is time limit within which you have to pass all three steps starting from the date of your pass on the first step (which may be either step 1 or step 2). There is no limit on the number of years post-graduation, ie you can take your first USMLE exam 20 year after you qualified as a doctor, if you want to. However, many residency programs prefer people that qualified within the last 5 years. Having said that, if you are already practicing as a gp, and will be applying for fp residency, you may have a good chance - or so I have been told.:)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. sjkpark

    sjkpark Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the general prep section.
    However, I recommend USMLERx and USMLEWORLD above Kaplan Q-bank or Q-book.

    I found Q-book useless. Doesn't reflect current trend.

    Rx is easy, but excellent questions to begin your study with. The questions are based on material in FA so easy to annotate and grasp important concepts.

    UW is the flavour of the month. After FA+Rx, you will get 70% of questions right. UW helps you to prepare for, not just academically but mentally, the 30% of questions that will determine the top students from good students.

    Kaplan Q-bank: too expensive, didn't do, Rx+UW is cheaper than 1 month Qbank.

    Myself: 12 weeks studying full-time/part-time, year 6 in a 6 year programme, did just above and got 244/99
     
  23. hiba

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    :) hi

    I think so it is great job.Thanks a lot.
     
  24. porkish5

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    hi am prep for step 1 to write in 3mnths.i really aim for a score to get into radiology or anaesthesiology.please advise me on my target score.am an immg US citizen n studied out of US
     
  25. Madeye

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello People!!
    I hope I'm not too late to join the discussion..
    what a load of good info!! thanks!!

    My questions are:
    I'm a fifth yr student in Egypt (6yrs.+1yr.res.), I'm thinking seriously of taking the USMLE exam, I still haven't decided yet when to...
    so..do you think its good to study the Kaplan books during the year...and the focus on the FA just before the exam??

    about the timing to take the exam..are there any times better than others??

    and at last..I like Ophthalmology very much now, and I've been told that it's impossible to get such residency?? what do you think??

    please one last ques...in Egypt we dont do research as part of medical school, do you think this would make a diff.?

    sorry for being long
    thanks
     
  26. Madeye

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    well, I think I'm really late
     
  27. rox

    rox ossified
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello,

    I'd like to ask specifically about Pharmacology & behavioral science...What books you found useful and thorough?
     
  28. ROBINHO

    ROBINHO Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    32
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hello,
    I wanted an info about the Step 1 registration. At one point you are supposed to fill in your clerkships. Lets say I will start my clearkships(5th and 6th years) next year. I want to register this year but I don't yet know the names of the Professors who will be supervising me next year so I can't fill in that column now.
    What I want to know is if it is possible to leave that space out and fill it later when I am reistering for Step 2CS and CK. Or no changes can me made as soon as you pass the 'fill in clerkships" table???
    Thanks
     
  29. Perseverence2

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All,
    I am re-taking the step 1 exam ..and although it hurt me a great deal to find that I have to re-do this...I am starting to pick myself back up again and just go at it hardcore. However, I still need a plan of action. Last time I did all the kaplan videos, kaplan books, usmle world, usmlerx, goljan audios and annotated high yield from all that into my First Aid 2005 version. I thought I had done everything right...and not just studied but studied smart...so now I don't know where to begin? Clearly I need to do something different this time around to avoid the same results from before! I would appreciate anyyyy advice...please help me get going!!
     
  30. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hmm, that's quite difficult. I think it might be the quality of study and not quantity that will make you learn the info, because it's not so much a memorization exam than a thinking one, which requires deep understanding. what I'd do is look at areas you were weak in, since it provides a breakdown of subjects on your score sheet. Then focus in on those week areas by doing all the problems in qbank/usmleworld on that subject multiple times and taking the time to go over the material repeatedly (like 50+ times). It's tough when you think you did it right the first time, but since you're in a different system than the US system, it's not an uncommon occurrence.
     
  31. HouseBaby

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello all!

    I know I'm totally, totally late joining this thread and I completely understand not getting any replies to my post.:)

    Let me just start by thanking Leorl so much for starting this thread! It's great and answers lots of questions that I'm sure lots of us have. I'm in my 3rd year doing an MBBS course of 5 years in a South Asian country and I've always wanted to go to the good ol' US for post grad.

    I was thinking of doing the USMLE step 1 this year but after reading this thread I'm thinking of doing it next year. We've only just started clinicals and the last two years were spent just learning the basics Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry. SO I guess I should wait till we do pathology and such yes? Oh, and what time of year do they hold these exams?? Is there a specific time of year or is it a monthly thing?

    My aim is to get a residency in Neurology and I just want to know, is that too far out there?? What's the selection process like?? After reading that heirachy I'm kinda reluctant to even think about it..But it has always been my dream.

    Anyway, I should be oh so grateful if anyone can shed a little light on the subject. And I'm so sorry to be repeating any quieries that have already been posted on the thread(If I've done so)

    Cheers

    PS. Congratulations Eskimo!
     
  32. rox

    rox ossified
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    It's absolutely recommended to have your Step 1 after you take Pathology. I'd recommend even you take it after finishing at least your core clerkships. IMHO, it's even better to take it after graduation.

    Neurology isn't that competetive compared to other specialities. Still, you need good scores.
     
  33. HouseBaby

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey Rox..

    Thank you! Shall take it under advisement.
     
  34. motorola

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I agree. Pathology covers about half of Step 1 questions.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  35. jtlc2345

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Having just done Step 1 over the summer - I would wholeheartedly recommend waiting until studying pathology and doing at least some clinical medicine - makes sections such as psychiatry and obstetrics/gynaecology so much easier if you've actually experienced them in the flesh.

    Due to time/not being organised enough/other commitments, I only ended up using First Aid followed by USMLE World in tutor mode for about 10 days - really wish I had done more revision.

    Jonathan
     
  36. motorola

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    thanks. this is very helpful
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  37. HouseBaby

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey, thanks Motorola and jtlc2345.
     
  38. kittycrinkles

    kittycrinkles picking out zebras
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Post Doc
    this is a great thread.

    i wish i can contribute to it soon after taking the MLE this 2010.

    good luck to all IMGs joining the 2010 Match! :cool:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  39. Fub

    Fub

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student

    even the studying materials , like USMLE kaplan gave pathology a great part in the course , intensive care should be takin to cover all pathology field
     
  40. rendition

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMGs get residency spots in inner city hospitals where they see no white patients - only black ones. If you don't have a green card you will have to practice in a rural area in the hope of waiving the 2-year requirement of the notorious J-1 visa. IMGs get leftover residency spots such as Family Practice and Internal Medicine that domestic candidates abhor. But most IMGs go thru all the s h i t they put them since they make much more money than in their destitute home countries.
     
  41. wethepeople

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the uncompromising bluntness, rendition!
     
  42. schandan13

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Either it's complete lack of knowledge or an EXTREME generalization. Yes, there are community hospitals in not-so-affluent areas where sometimes there are more black patients, but that's not always true. White trash is just as common.

    That's partly true. The spots are "left over" spots. But include fields like Pediatrics and Psychiatry too. The usual order of picking is US MD > US DO > FMG >= IMG. The last bit can vary. There are exceptional candidates from certain countries who get chosen by programs since they're the cream of the crop in their country of origin. They are the best their country has to offer. On the other hand, a US-IMG wasn't competitive enough to stay in the US and had to pursue an international MD. The flipside to this is the visa issue, but more often than not, smarter FMGs do get picked.

    Not always true. But yes, >95% come just for the money.
     
  43. IMGFriend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    A lot of people have been mentioning self-study options, books, online questionnaires, etc. I personally find it very difficult to study on my own... where do I start?

    Seriously, Kaplan/test prep programs seem expensive, but it has been completely worth it. And I don't mean getting books/qbank. It's simply not enough to make us competitive against US students when 1) our scores actually (and unfortunately) do define us and 2) only around 40% of IMGs who apply to residency get accepted every year!

    We already have our licenses. We've made it this far. I think "I might as well invest the time and money to make sure we even get in to a residency program"... which literally "pays off" later on.

    I wasn't really sure if Kaplan or formal test prep programs were worth it, but they have these free days of study every now and then (you can probably find the schedule on kaptest.com) and when I looked at the video library they have--the medical content from actual doctors-- plus questions, a system that tracks your progress, etc-- it made so much sense why I wasn't getting anywhere before (flipping through books, doing practice questions without improving).

    If you think you're doing well studying on your own. Think again. 1) If you were licensed in your country a few years ago, and are taking Step 1 without proper preparation, you're going to have a hard time. It's the hardest step, because it's basic science (which we don't have to use on the job everyday, as much as clinical knowledge). Don't underestimate how much you can forget over time.

    I took a free practice test when I was looking at Kaplan and my score made me realize how far I had to go to be competitive for a residency program.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck to all of you!
     
  44. nuetron

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi this is nuetron.av just started preparing for step1. I dnt know why there r no new posts after 2010?no new discusssions nd updates, would really appreciate a forum for 2012-2013 examinees.
     
  45. doctr2be

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi,
    I just finished medical school in India, I've been getting alot of mixed advice regarding which Step to take first. I don't really remember my basic sciences, and I just finished my Internship so clinical subjects I'm more comfortable with. I'm only going to make it to the 2015 match so does it matter which one I take first.
    Really appreciate any input.
     
  46. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite!
    Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,897
    Likes Received:
    6,004
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Does not matter, at all. The key is to do as well as you possibly can on all of the steps. Make sure you take the time to study adequately.
     
  47. drcominardi

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    Does anybody have experience with ask doc usmle step 1 prep course? I'm an old img and I was doing some research about studying material and this came across... I would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks
     
  48. Kareem1112

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    As an IMG, Does my local University's grades matter? Providing I got high scores in the USMLE exams.
     
  49. rhomboid

    rhomboid SDN Bronze Donor
    Bronze Donor Verified Account 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    39
    Status:
    Post Doc
    It still matters. Programs want to know if you're the top in your school/in your country.
     
  50. Mikhib

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great thread. Has very useful information.
    My question, which online preparatory course will you recommend which is either free or cost-friendly for medical student outside the USA
     

Share This Page