The Best Way to Study for the USMLE Course – Part 2

Subjects covered in the examination:

The pathway to medical licensure requires completion of a U.S. residency training program. Most programs select candidates using the national residency matching program (NRMP) also known as the “Match.” In order to qualify to participate in the match, international medical graduates or IMGs, must obtain certification by the educational commission for foreign medical graduates (ECFMG), which in turn requires the completion of all exam requirements. Medical Licensure in the U.S. starts with preparing for the step 1, step 2 clinical knowledge (CK) and step 2 clinical skills (CS) examinations. These can be completed in a 3 to 9 months period. However, clinical skills can be completed in about one to two months time.

The step one course consists of the following subjects: anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry and medical genetics, immunology and microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology. These topics are covered in the first two years of medical school study known as basic science subjects. In clinical knowledge, the following subjects are covered. Internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and ethics, and surgery. These are subjects learned in the third and forth years of your medical school study.

Clinical skills are a practical live exam using standardized patients that is meant to test a candidate’s english communication and clinical skills. Step 3, tests patient management skills at the level of a first-year resident. For ECFMG certification, you require the medical degree certificate, medical school transcript and step 1, step 2 CK and step 2 CS score card. For participating in the residency match, you need to complete the following: ECFMG certification, enroll in national residency matching program (NRMP), apply using electronic residency application service (ERAS).

It is advisable, especially for IMG candidates, instead of sending random ERAS applications, to find out a list of relevant residency programs matching your credentials, which are IMG friendly and having chance of getting more Residency interviews. Then send the ERAS application for registration. This not only saves money, but also lot of time, avoids disappointments and increases the chance of getting a Residency.