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Which regions get better USMLE scores?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by BellKicker, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    Hi everyone.

    I just read in the thrilling "Go to India for Med School" thread that India has the highest pass rate in the world. I take it that's not including USA, Canada and all those other schools in that region that we hear so much about on this site.

    So who fails? I guess the worldwide pass rate is around 50%, right? Do they give out this information? If anyone could provide a link or just their thoughts it would be great.

    I'm taking Step 1 in August. I've never met a person who took it. I've heard of one person passing, that's it. Basically, can someone just hold be by the hand and tell me it'll be okay?
     
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  3. Vitaliano333

    Vitaliano333 Member
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    As a European graduate maybe I can give you some insight on why some candidates from our region have trouble passing. First of all, from my personal experience and from what I've gathered from people I've met, most European schools tend to give you a lot of details but aren't always very good at teaching you what you should prioritize amongst those details. Second of all, the USMLE steps are exams which not only require that you have a sufficient knowledge base, but also that you are able to deduce from that knowledge in a clinically-oriented manner. In other words, they tests your ability to put 1+1 together.
    Another major problem with most European schools with regard to the steps is the timing of their courses. For example, I took Biochem in my second year and Pathology in my fifth year (while I was taking about 14 other courses, I might add!). So it would not have been practical for me to take Step 1 right after my Pathology course because I wouldn't have had time to go over some necessary material which I had studied years prior. So, if your med school is anything like mine (and I've said this in other threads!), you're better off putting at least three months aside after you graduate for each step. This way, you have time to go over everything and to get acquainted with the style of questions you'll be facing through practice books.
    Good luck
     
  4. Cuts

    Cuts Member
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    If you're an above average student with a good amount of self-discipline, Step 1 shouldn't be a problem. Set aside 3 months for FULL-TIME studying (i.e. 7-9 net hours/day, 6 days/week), come of with a good plan, study with focus and intensity, and do tons of mcqs, and you'll rock it. I went to a school in Hungary for my Basics, and this is what I did, and I got a 244/99. Good luck!
     
  5. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    Thanks, guys.

    VITALIANO, did you take step 1 before pathology? I'm asking because my school is exactly like yours (well, almost). I'm taking Step 1 before pathology but with all the other subjects fresh in mind. It seems like there is no perfect solution but re-reading biochem and physiology (and everything else) after 3 years seemed crazy.
     
  6. Stormreaver

    Stormreaver The Blade of Tyshalle
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    Dane, did I hear correctly, BEFORE pathology? I don't think thats a particularly good idea. The exam is at least half pathology, and without knowing that well, you'll have a tough time!
     
  7. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by DaneMD:
    <strong>I guess the worldwide pass rate is around 50%, right? Do they give out this information? If anyone could provide a link or just their thoughts it would be great.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.usmle.org/news/medlic.htm" target="_blank">USMLE Performance Data</a>
     
  8. Vitaliano333

    Vitaliano333 Member
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    Actually, I took the steps exactly as I explained (i.e., after med school). But my situation is pretty unique in that I only heard about the steps process around my fifth year when my cousin from New Jersey mentioned it to me. Had I known about it sooner, I may have been tempted to take at least Step 1 before finishing med school. But in hindsight, I'm not sure I would have had the peace of mind to concentrate on them before graduating. Also, I think you should consider two more factors. First of all, American students take standardized tests starting in elementary school. Many European students are completely unfamiliar with the concept. In fact, in many countries, the only form of grading is through oral exams. Plus, there is a decades-long tradition of Asian doctors in th US. That means that many Asians have first hand advice on how to prepare for these exams and, from what I've been told, many already know that they will be taking them when they start med school and so they prepare for them accordingly (that's not to diminish the merits of all you ninety-niners out there, of course).
    All I am saying is, if you're serious about training in the US, don't take these exams too lightly.
    Best wishes
     
  9. Cuts

    Cuts Member
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    I agree with Stormreaver... I don't think it's wise to take Step 1 without having done Patho yet. That'd be like taking Step 2 without having done Medicine... i.e. not a good idea.
     
  10. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    Christ!

    The one person at my school who handles these things suggested this time for me to take it. I mean, I've taken basic pathology (which I should have mentioned to begin with)and I know most diseases from medicine and surgery internships (or whatever you'd call them, clerkships maybe). Also, more importantly, I've paid the 8 million dollars it costs to take Step 1, so....

    How can it be 50 percent pathology? Isn't it 1/7 of all the subjects, so that behavioral sciences count the same as patho? I know they overlap but having said that, isn't physiology probably the biggest subject?

    Oh, well. One more thing to worry about, right? Thanks for being honest, by the way.
     
  11. Cuts

    Cuts Member
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    There is no way that Patho is only 1/7 of the exam. I'd say that Step 1 is AT LEAST 50% Patho questions. Sure, one can argue that there is lots of overlap b/w Path and other subjects which is strictly speaking true, but think about it this way... the answers for 1/2 of Step 1 questions are found in the Robbins Path book.
     
  12. Stormreaver

    Stormreaver The Blade of Tyshalle
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    DaneMD: Pathology is one of 7 subjects on the exam, but that does not mean it is 1/7th of the exam. For example, about 60%+ of my exam was pathophysiology, that is a mix of patho and physio questions, most of which could only be answered by having studied BOTH these subjects. Anatomy, on the other hand, was minute--1% at the most, maybe 3-4% if you add neuroanat. The exam emphasizes different subjects differently, and emphasizes different topics within these subjects differently - so what you might have studied in your micro or physio courses might be different from what is being tested on the exam.

    I'd suggest you have a look at First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 -- that will give you a good idea of what the exam is all about.
     
  13. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    ****!!

    Talk about bad advice, huh? It seemed so logical when the secretary told me now was the best time to take Step 1.

    Good thing I found out now and not in August. At least I know where to put in the hours.

    Let's review what we have learned today: Europeans do ****ty on the test and I'm taking the test at the wrong time.........

    Once again: ****

    Still, thanks for taking the time to explain.
     

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