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15+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2001
Baltimore, MD
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My situation is somewhat unique.

My school does not require the USMLE, so I have the luxury of taking it whenever I'd like. My school also allows us to take our clerkships (required and electives) in any order we choose.

So... is it better to take Step 1 after the basic medicine clerkship??

I have Dermatopath in April, Anesthesiology in May, Peds in June/July, and Medicine in Sept/Oct.

So -- I'll take Step 1 in either August or November.

Any opinions?


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15+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2000
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If I were in your situation, I would take the USMLE after your medicine rotation in November. I know that there has been a shift at some medical schools to have students get some clinical experience before they take their USMLE because so many of the USMLE questions are clinical vignettes. There's not that much difference in taking it in August or November, so you might as well wait until you finish your medicine rotation so that you can have that experience under your belt before you take your test. Good luck.
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