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How should I prepare for the USMLE? Tips for USMLE success -Doctors Gang

What to Study and How to Study for the USMLE During MBBS

USMLE for Bangladesh Students

What is the USMLE?

It stands for United States Medical Licensing Exam. Anyone who wants to practics medicine, i.e. See the patients regularly, treat them, do surgery, in short work as a doctor in US, needs to pass the USMLE exam. That means both candidates US Medical graduates and International Medical Graduates need to pass the USMLE exam.

If you are an international medical graduate, you can apply for USMLE during MBBS or after your medical school. The exam itself has 3 steps.

USMLE Step 1: 

USMLE step 1 exam can be given in your own country. It tests basic science knowledge, covering the first and second year of your MBBS education.

USMLE Step 2: 

USMLE Step 2 exam is divided into 2 parts, 

  • One is clinical knowledge(CK) and
  • Another is  clinical skills(CS). 

Step 2 CK can be given in your own country, and it tests your ability to diagnose the disease and treat different conditions. It focuses on Third and fourth year of MBBS students.

USMLE Step 2 CS is a practical exam. You have to visit United States to give step 2 ck. In this exam, you will meet patients. They will assess your interaction, behavior and history taking and physical examination skills by this patients.

Decide the time of USMLE exam:

There are usually one of the two time periods when people give usmle step 
First,starting of final year.
Second,After Internship.
In the case that you want to score as high as possible and have no defined target score, the best time is to give the USMLE exam in a few months after completing internship, however, you must start your preparation from today itself.

However, if your target score is defined, is not too high or is easily achievable, you should give the exam at the start of fourth year, but also only if you are achieving your target score in NBMEs(a type of MOCK exam) by the end of of your preparation/ nearing your exam date, if not, you have to take the decision if the score you are getting is acceptable for you or you have to postpone the usmle step 1 exam.

Decide the study material for USMLE exam:

How to start USMLE preparationn

In experience and opinion on basis of my own knowledge and of many others I have closely seen, the best is to start by doing Firstaid and a question bank of previous years, preferably Usmle treatment, together, which takes about two to three months, depending on your speed.

The next should be doing Firstaid exam again, but this time with UWorld, which is the question bank most similar to the real USMLE exam.

Give an NBME again to check your quality and weakness. 

Now that you have done 2 question banks and first aid twice, and also given two NBMEs, you can assess where you stand in your preparation, what areas are weak and on that basis decide what other study material to use and how to further your preparation from that point of your weekness.

Keep in mind that upto this point only you would have taken Six(6) months atleast.

after this it is,Give NBME again> assess weak point> read Again that terms >give NBME again and repeat till you get your target score from NBMEs.

Also you should keep minimum 15–20 days after you achieve your target score in NBME and exam date so you can revise and gather all your preparation together.

Remember Step 1 is only a very small part of the USMLE  journey which is getting a residency.

How do you prepare for the USMLE step 1 during 2nd year of MBBS?

I believe that the foundation of success in USMLE Step 1 begins long before the dedicated study period and lies in the first 2 years of mbbs period or medical school.

First decided that you want to start studying for USMLE Step 1 during your first year of MBBS.

How do I efficiently balance studying for Step 1 with coursework?
I suggest to treat studying for USMLE Step 1 as part and parcel with studying for your classes. Regardless of which medical College you are attending, there is a lot of overlaps between lecture classes and USMLE materials. While medical College may only test you on rote memorization of theory and lecture , USMLE Step 1 will take it one step further to test you on the integration and application of the same  information. 

Several resources for USMLE Step 1 studying:

1.First Aid: 
The gold standard of all preparation books as First aid covers almost everything you need to learn for USMLE Step 1. Though it is often unknown for many first  or second year mbbs student to look through it, it distills the high-yield facts in a concise and clear manner for all the things you have learned in mbbs class. This is a great companion for MBBS first-year coursework as well as early Step 1 studying. A new edition of First Aid is published yearly in January in every year, which is the perfect time to buy one and start reviewing the organ and systems you have learned while previewing the ones you are going to step 1 study.

Anki: This is a Android application used for creating electronic flashcards. Though ready-made cards targeting USMLE Step 1 high-yield information are available for purchase (e.g. Firecracker) software, you will find that long-term retention will often be improved when you make these flashcards yourself. Anki application  allows you to create flashcards of USMLE important topics and study with the power of spaced repetition. This will not only help with retaining pertinent information for USMEL Step 1 but also with memorizing facts,theory, info for your classes. Most importantly, you can load the application into your smartphone and you can study on it.

Pathoma: 
Pathoma is a book or video series for studying the mechanisms and major concepts of pathology. However, if your medial College does not start teaching pathology until year two or three, it may not be of much use to you until then.Of course, there are many other products out there competing for your attention and money. These are the few that we think are the most relevant and useful to those of you who are thinking about USMLE Step 1 during mbbs first year.





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