I need some realistic advice
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Thread: I need some realistic advice

  1. #1
    Med Studentz Newbie
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    Aug 2012
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    I need some realistic advice

    I graduated medical school from India in 2000 (MBBS).After which I worked only for 1-2 years on and off as a medical officer in various Indian Hospitals.
    I wrote the USMLE step 1 in June 2001 and failed. I tried 2 more times and failed consecultively. Last attempt was in late 2002.
    I made some big mistakes back then. I wasnt focussed, getting drunk and partying all the time. Actually sat for the USMLE exam repeatedly without really studying. I dont know what I was thinking back then.

    Later on I completed a PG Diploma from London and now have a good career working in hospital administration. I live and work in Singapore now.

    I have been having an itch lately to get back into clinical medicine and try the MLE again with serious study. I am now 35 years old.
    My questions to you kind readers are as follows.

    1. Is it worth even trying at my age and with 3 attempts?
    2. Do many US states have a cap on the number of attempts you can have?
    3. Do residency programs have anything against old graduates? (People who graduated a long time ago)

    I am really confused right now. I don't know whether I should abandon these dreams, or go for it.
    I'm not fullfilled with my current job... but it pays the bills!

    Thank you all.:oops:
  2. #2
    Med Studentz Beginner ComputerKid's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2012
    The Internet
    53 times
    My advice is that you take an online lecture course and try to see if you can handle that pace of learning. There's Kaplan and a few others out there. For pathology there's which is really good. If you want someone to help you understand First Aid, there's Doctors In Training (google them).

    After doing this you should sign up for the USMLEWorld question bank set and make a schedule where you do 200-300 questions per day. Read each question's answer and try to learn from that. Use it as a learning tool rather than a testing tool.

    Then take a few practice tests. Technology has helped a lot in the test prep process compared to 2002. These online tools may be able to make a difference.

    In regards to your other questions -- I asked my uncle who is a physician in New York.

    1) You're known as an alternative applicant and although your chances of matching into something highly competitive are slim, there's plenty of other specialties that do take alternative applicants every year. You will of course have a story about the lost years and how you have learned from your mistakes. Strong scores will also help with this.

    2) I do not believe most states have any additional regulations besides what ECFMG requires in terms of test attempts. Before ECFMG took over, different states did have different requirements.

    3) I don't think residency programs will have anything above what I already mentioned against older graduates. If you look at a graduating class at a US Medical School, there will be a few people in every class who are much older than the rest. This is pretty common nowadays. The biggest hurdle you will have to face however is the gap between graduation and you applying for a residency. You can of course explain this by speaking about the issues you faced with concentrating, studying, and really knowing what you wanted earlier in life. You can write about this in the personal statement.

    Again, if you can pull off strong scores, your personal statement will become a more compelling read.

    Good luck (to us all!)
    syntaX, Waleed90, marie.t and 1 others like this.
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