Part II tips for IMG
1. If you are still in medical school and thinking of coming to the US, start doing your USMLE boards during your actual medical school. Why? Because the USMLE steps go according as your classes in medical school. As an example, the step 1 talks about physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology. You learn all of this during your first 2 years and so on with the step 2 and 3.
2. When studying for the exams concentrate in ONE good book, first aid and Qbank. Do not complicate yourself with many books. In my time, I did only Kaplan, then first aid, then questions.
3. When studying, learn and understand the subject FIRST. Don’t jump into doing questions. USMLE questions are NOT straight forward. They test if you truly understand what they are asking you. Doing questions before will only frustrate you.
4. Surround yourself with people who are doing the boards too. IG is great, exchange information, and if you find a studying buddy ask each other questions. Get your group to motivate and spend time together as studying for the exam can be lonely.
5. Take one step at a time. One subject at a time, don’t get overwhelmed with the other tests, residency programs etc. You need to pass the step 1 to go to the next step. No need to add extra stress. Don’t worry of not having medical experience in the US if you haven’t even passed your step 1.
6. Visa status. If you are a US citizen congrats! 50% of your work is done, all you need to do is pass the boards.
If you don’t have a Visa like I did you have two options:
H1B or J1 visa. For H1B visa you need to have passed the USMLE step 3 before applying for residency. For J1 you don’t.
BUT if you have a J1 you will need to renew it on a yearly basis in your country and at the end of your training you either go to your country for 2 years or work in underserved area in the US for 3 years.
That is, it for today, I truly hope this information is helpful. Studying for USMLE is overwhelming but know that is DOABLE.
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