USMLE Talk. Thomas Cotter. Outline. Overview of required Residency portfolio USMLE Step 1 USMLE Step 2 CK USMLE Step 2 CS US Electives Research Residency Programs Other issues Other options. Overview – Residency steps (Bigger picture).
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- Does not help NUIG grades (Maybe in MCQ and long case in Final Med only)
- Lessons from UCC
Do not do it to “keep options open,” or “because X is doing it and I can’t leave X get one up on me”
Reasons for failure rate:
- Studying wrong material (not focusing on HIGH YIELD topics) (BRS books, etc . . .wrong approach, need to do Qbank very well)
- Gulf between Galway syllabus and USMLE (naivety??)
- Not giving oneself enough time/lack of motivation (Summer distractions, etc)
- Videos: Kaplan Videos - Internal Medicine (Conrad Fischer - excellent), Surgery (very good), Paediatrics (good), Obs & Gyn(excellent). Psych not great.
- Books: Master the Boards (Fischer) (For IM and Surgery consolidates the Kaplan videos), Step up to Medicine (Excellent book), First Aid Step 2 CK (Paeds, Obs, Psych all useful)
- USMLE World Step 2 CK Qbank - ESSENTIAL
- Ancillary Text: Secrets USMLE Step 2 (helps re-inforce commonly tested concepts, Bed time reading)
Unlike Step 1 there is no perfect book (like First Aid Step 1).
USMLE World Qbank, MTB (for IM & Surgery), First Aid Step 2 CK (Paeds, Obs&Gyn, Psych) are the essentials and you should do well if you cover these thoroughly.
Start elective portfolio early and get all your documents in order, both as hard copies (have plenty of photocopies) and as electronic copies (preferably pdf files). Most hospitals look for a standard set of documents. Your portfolio should include: CV, immunisation details, USMLE score transcript, School transcripts, personal statement, Personal Health Insurance, Letters of reference, photo). A lot of effort and stress involed.
- Before intern yr? very risky in case Residency does not go well (not fully registered with Irish system), won’t be eligible for H1B visa, lack of clinical experience, worst possible position if you want to come back to Ireland
- After intern yr? (good to have a practical yr behind you and NB to be fully registered before you go. Not in as strong a position if decide to return to Ireland, variable success coming back).
- After SHO yrs with membership exams done (ideal time, majority of Irish doctors still only 25/26 at this time, US starting Residency are generally around 26/27, stronger position if you want to return to Ireland)
- STEP SCORES ARE NB, AS IS YOUR CLASS RANKING, HOWEVER, A MEDICAL ELECTIVE AT THE INSTITUTION IS THE SINGLE MOST NB THING IF YOU WISH TO WORK THERE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE REASONABLE STEP SCORES
US: Excellent training and the vast majority of institutions are very teaching-focussed which is what I like.
However, it’s competitive-central (can be cut-throat), intense hours, mediocre salary until consultant level, expensive process to get there and a lot of hard work.