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when to take step 3?

HI,
I have free time my senior year before starting pgy-1. Can I get over step 3 then or early in my PGY-1 year? I've heard some states don't let you take step3 unless you are already a pgy-1? Anybody knows? I will be doing training in either Florida, California, or New York and would love to take step 3 before starting, if it is allowed..

Thanks for your replies!
 
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pmpkn219

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    I'm doing Peds, and want to take it ASAP while all the "general" medicine is still fresh. But like pp said, can't register until you've graduated. Actually, you can sign up, and pay... they'll just say you can't apply yet and not refund your money. Not such a good idea!

    Edit: forgot to say, if I was doing IM I'd probably want intern year under my belt, as I think that could be quite helpful.
     
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    RussianJoo

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      I plan on taking my step3 early. Graduation is sometime in May or June and residency doesn't start till July 1st so there's time to register and take it. Also my last rotation ends in March so I'll start studying then. You can take the exam early by putting down Connecticut when you apply for the exam, some other states work too (not sure which ones) but if you put down that you want to be licensed in Connecticut then you'll be allowed to take the exam early (as long as you have your diploma) and you can take the exam in whichever state you want.

      My main reason for doing this is because I want to do well on the exam and feel that 1 or 2 weeks that I'll have as vacation time will not be enough to prep for it.I also heard that the exam is a lot like Step2CK and medical managment experience is not necissary to do well on it. It's also an excellent idea to take the exam early if you're going to be going into any field besides medicine or if your internship won't be a prelim medicine year or a transitional year. I spoke to a few surgeons and they wish they took it earlier because they forgot a lot of medicine after their surgical internship. Step3 scores are important if you want to get a fellowship after your resdiency.

      So just put down the state of Connecticut on your application and as long as you have your MD diploma you'll be able to take the exam early.
       

      4424

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        .I also heard that the exam is a lot like Step2CK and medical managment experience is not necissary to do well on it. It's also an excellent idea to take the exam early if you're going to be going into any field besides medicine or if your internship won't be a prelim medicine year or a transitional year.

        i took it in the middle of my transitional year before i started ophtho but i will have to disagree with that statement. medical management experience is absolutely necessary to do well on it. i personally don't think i would've done as well on it at the end of 4th year. i took it after i did a couple of medicine wards months, ICU, peds and ED and felt like what i learned as an intern was important. you don't have to study much for it to do well, but experience is definitely helpful.
         
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        RussianJoo

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          i took it in the middle of my transitional year before i started ophtho but i will have to disagree with that statement. medical management experience is absolutely necessary to do well on it. i personally don't think i would've done as well on it at the end of 4th year. i took it after i did a couple of medicine wards months, ICU and ED and felt like what i learned as an intern was important. you don't have to study much for it to do well, but experience is definitely helpful.


          hmm interesting, thank you for the comment i'll have to look more into it i guess.
           

          dragonfly99

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            I feel like the test would have been hard with no experience as an intern/resident. I actually didn't take it until well into my 2nd year, and I think that helped me. There are some peds patients on the exam, too...not just adult medicine. There are some ER and/or ICU scenarios as well. I didn't do as well on the peds part, not surprisingly, since I was an IM resident.

            r.e. the post above...I don't think they HAVE to give you time off to take the test. There wasn't any such policy at my residency, and people generally took it either during a vacation block or maybe during one of their clinic/outpatient months...but would have to get permission from the attending. Some GME offices or residencies do have policies granting leave to take Step 3, though.
             

            Pir8DeacDoc

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              i took it in the middle of my transitional year before i started ophtho but i will have to disagree with that statement. medical management experience is absolutely necessary to do well on it. i personally don't think i would've done as well on it at the end of 4th year. i took it after i did a couple of medicine wards months, ICU, peds and ED and felt like what i learned as an intern was important. you don't have to study much for it to do well, but experience is definitely helpful.


              I agree with the above poster, it definitely helps to have some "doctor" experience under your belt before taking the test.

              The thought of spending a lot of time on this test in terms of preparation is overkill. Learn to use the software and that's pretty much enough. I took it at the end of my surgical intern year and felt like I was plenty prepared for it (we did have an ED month in the internship so that may have helped me recall some general medicine). Don't sweat it, I can't think of anyone who cares what you get as long as you pass it. Take a 210 and move on :)
               

              IndyXRT

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                I took step 3 midway through my intern year (in my state, you can't take step 3 until you have 6 months of internship under your belt; I wasn't aware of the Connecticut trick). I think taking the test after being on wards was helpful, as it is based largely around clinical vignettes (lots of reading). If I had it to do over, I do not think I would have done better (and would probably have done worse) had I taken it between graduation and PGY 1.
                 

                gutonc

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                  If I list Connecticut, would other states that require post-graduate training demand that I take it again after completing these requirements?

                  No. Once you pass Step 3, you can't sit for it again. All you have to do is pass. Nobody really cares where/when you do it. And just b/c you list CT as the place you intend to get a license doesn't mean you need to even be able to find it on a map, let alone actually go there to take the test or get a license there.

                  As to the timing, I too would recommend waiting a little before taking it. If you do it at the end of 4th year, you'll definitely need to study. If you do it at the end of a PGY1 year in IM/FM/EM/Surg/TY you'll probably do just fine without doing anything more than just learning how to work the cases.
                   

                  Samoa

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                    It's really only important to pass.

                    As for timing, it depends on your specialty. If you're going into a field that doesn't require a medicine or surgery prelim, you should take it as early as possible. In a surgical internship, the educational returns for this test are maximal on your trauma rotation, and pretty negligible otherwise. In IM, the educational returns continue throughout intern year, so it helps to wait.
                     

                    maceo

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                      take it asap. most states exceptlike 7 have a rule that not more than 5 years or 7 years i cant remember elapses between when you passed step 1 and step 3. If too many years elapses... go find another state to practice. So my answer........ take it asap...... if one state wont let you take it during your senior year.. find another state to take it in... peace out..
                       

                      RussianJoo

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                        I wonder how important it is....is it as important as Step 1 for residency?


                        I don't think it's that important. but i have been told that the more competitive the fellowship the more they'll look at all your steps and in service exams, and other stuff. Some attending said that we expect people who apply for our fellowships to have mid to high 90's on all steps and in service exams and they base their acceptance on letters of recommendation and other personality evaluations.

                        Also some fellowships are easy to get while others are hard to get. The rule of thumb is that if the residency was easy to get like for example internal medicine then the fellowships will be hard to get, while if the residency was hard to get like radiology then the fellowships will be easy to get like IR for example goes unfilled every year.

                        I personally want a very competitive fellowship and thus can't afford to simply pass the test, everything counts. just like people say your basic science grades aren't important for residency placement but if you end up with a poor gpa it will still look bad. I guess what I'll do is schedule some easy electives and then a vacation write after them and study through out the elective months and during the vacation. This way i'll have enough time to study for the exam and will have the patient management experience that I need.
                         
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                        lapooh

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                          Personally I dont think 'doctor experience' is required for step 3, I just took it and did pretty well, and I am a year out of medical school now. Its just a bucketload of questions ,and ccs , pretty similar to Step 2, and especilly if you have taken Step 2 within the last 6 months or so, have time on your hands, and are willing to study for say 2 weeks you should go ahead and give it. You will anyway have ten thousand other things to deal with in internship, so I sat get over with it.
                          Under you want to save mney my making the program pay the fees [:)]
                           

                          Doctor Bob

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                            As for timing, it depends on your specialty. If you're going into a field that doesn't require a medicine or surgery prelim, you should take it as early as possible. In a surgical internship, the educational returns for this test are maximal on your trauma rotation, and pretty negligible otherwise. In IM, the educational returns continue throughout intern year, so it helps to wait.

                            Amen.
                            I'm doing a surgical internship now and I took step 3 less than a month into my first rotation (which happened to be trauma). Turns out I did quite well on it. Now more than halfway through the year, the other surgical interns who waited are now taking it and complaining afterwards that they knew they knew a lot of the stuff at the end of 4th year, but had forgotten it to make room for surgery specific information.
                             
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