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- December 6th, 2013, 07:10 PM #1
Im a first year student of MBBS in Pakistan, and I know the USMLE is a long way off, but I would really like to atleast get a handle on it, so anyone with past experience or present knowledge, please do feel free to contribute here.
Upto this point, I have found out that the USMLE step 1 is best taken after end of 3rd year in MBBS in Pakistan, because thats when the syllabus is covered and fresh in your mind. I also know that step 1 and 2 can be taken within Pakistan.
What I would like to know is, peoples views on the USMLE? what is a competitive score? How about electives [more to the point, what ARE electives?] and research papers and how to get your name on some. Does it matter less if your electives/papers are published in Pakistan instead of the US? what makes a candidate an able applicant for a residency in the US? Is the USMLE score enough? Im guessing it must vary depending on the residency you wish to enter into? Does the area you wish to go to play a role in this as well?
Good preparation books, and basically any opinions, all are welcome here. Think of this as a [more present] discussion on the topic of USMLE and getting a residency in the US. The last one I found seems to be 5-6 years old atleast, And im sure the scene has changed abit since then.
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Also, I am given to believe the USMLE syllabus has been altered recently ?
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edit: apparently, it might be better to take the exam at the end of 4th year..so many opinions
Also, I saw a couple of these posts in Pak med schools section, could this post be moved there if allowed, as that gets the majority of traffic?December 8th, 2013, 08:06 PM #2
I have the same questions as you. I am in my first year as well and would LOVE to know how to accompany USMLE prep with my coursework. I can try and answer some of your questions, AbraDabra.
I asked my seniors, some said it is best to give the papers by the end of 3rd year. As we will have finished the required course by then. We do need Step 1 scores to apply for electives in some programs in the US :/
Competitive score depends on the specialty. You will need a really high score like 260/270+ to be competitive for Plastics, Derm, ENT, Ortho etc and less scores for Family Med, Physical Rehab etc And USCE matters A LOT!
Electives are like your clinical rounds, just that they're in another hospital. And research elective is something to do with research
Yes, it does matter if your papers are published in the US. But a publication here isn't exactly worthless.
Eligibility for a program is ECFMG certificate, for which you have to pass Steps 1 and 2 (CK and CS) and graduate from a recognized (by IMED and/or WHO) medical school. You can get complete info from some residency programs and ECFMG website.
For any residency program you need: Good Step 1 scores, good Step 2 scores, USCE, probably research experience and if you're lucky publication(s), Letters of Recommendation from US doctors, an amazing Personal Statement, extra curriculars required by some programs like surgery i think, there's also the evaluation letter from your Dean, accreditation of your medical college is necessary (check out imed.faimer.org or the WHO list of medical colleges). I think that's it. Browse around medstudentz.com, studentdoctor.net, other usmle/residency forums for more info
I have seen LOADS of books and resources that are 'amazing' for USMLE prep but i still don't know what to buy :/December 9th, 2013, 03:29 PM #3
I see, welcome to the club Anony, mind if I ask what college you are studying in?
Your answers helped alot, but whats USCE? and how am I supposed to get research experience while applying? [As I will be applying during/right after house job]
Also, I know this probably isnt much help, but I have heard worlds of praise about First Aid for Step 1, Step-up to Step 2 [for step 2 ] and the Kaplan series.December 9th, 2013, 04:23 PM #4
Yeah sure, SMC! You?
USCE = US Clinical experience.
You can get research experience through research electives like in AKU, Karachi. Or abroad like in Johns Hopkins etc. For an elective, whether clinical or research, it is mandatory for you to be a medical student. Don't wait till after graduation for research experience, you are supposed to do all this (research elective and clinical electives and subinternships) in the vacations you get during med school!
I heard so too, First Aid is like recommended by almost EVERY person that gives the steps. Don't know much about step 2
Kaplan series for few subjects has been suggested too. But i can't buy all of them :/December 9th, 2013, 04:35 PM #5
You people are gonna give step 1 in your 3rd year or during house job?December 9th, 2013, 04:40 PM #6
Of the two, whenever I can afford itDecember 9th, 2013, 05:23 PM #7December 9th, 2013, 05:36 PM #8December 10th, 2013, 05:21 AM #9December 10th, 2013, 03:03 PM #10
Thats about 90k or so PKR atm isnt it? Ah well. Exorbitant prices might as well be expected nowadays.
Anyway, I do believe research experience would matter more if its in the US then in Pakistan right? When can we sign up to get this research experience? I'd love to take some at AKU. Clinical experience = clinical rotation right? so many different words for same things I believe you need to be in your 4th year for? or maybe you can swap your 3rd year rotations for it?
I dont think its a good idea to give step 1 during third year, maybe at the start/mid of 4th year though. You'de be a bit more mature and have some clinical ward experience by then.
And im at CMH AnonyDecember 10th, 2013, 08:02 PM #11
Yup around 90k or so.
Yeah, obviously. But wouldn't you rather apply for a research elective in the US with previous research experience right here in Pakistan than without any at all. You can sign up anytime! But make sure you apply months in advance like in AKU, I am not even sure if anybody would be willing to take in first years I will apply anyhow, students from my college have applied after their first year for electives though. Applying for a research elective in the US after first year wouldn't benefit us i think, considering we know really less :/
What system does your college follow btw? Like do you have all the subjects this year or just anatomy, biochem and physio?
Clinical experience can be clinical electives, sub internships and , i think, observerships and research electives. Clinical rotation is what you do over at your affiliated hospital as part of your curriculum Yeah for clinical electives you need to be a 4th or 5th year in the US but in Pakistan you can get one in 3rd and, if you are lucky, maybe even after the first two years! LOL swap for rotations?! No man, you have to do the clinical rotations of your curriculum regardless.
No, no I meant AFTER completing third year. That, according to my seniors, is the best time. Yes, you're right. The clinical experience might come in handy!
Cool! Congrats!December 11th, 2013, 04:03 PM #12
My bad, guess i had it jumbled up in my head
I'll look into these research electives and see where that takes meDecember 22nd, 2013, 02:45 PM #13
hey .. i want to know more about the acreditation status reqirement of institituions.. why exactly is it important.. because fmdc is facing problems with pmdc recognition .. does that mean it wont be considerd eligible to usmle student requirements?.. also i want to know more about these research electives.. i dont understand what its about...
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