Studying Medicine abroad is every student’s dream after all the hard work when one gets into their choice of university or country then all that is left is focus and dedication to become a good doctor. For any student doing MBBS in USA is a very prestigious and a big dream. A student has to understand that just by studying in any university or a medical college in the US does not make him or her eligible to practice medicine in that country, there is USMLE which has to be undertaken to become a full-fledged doctor and take up a legal practice in the United States.
Unlike other knowledge-based exams, USMLE thoroughly assesses how well a student can handle real-life situations and gives an insight to the licensing authority if a student can operate on and off the table in given situations.
A student has to take the USMLE exam at the end of the second year of medicine. It is also taken by many international medical graduates (IMG) who wish to practice medicine in the US. USMLE is mainly problem-solving skills and not just memorizing medical books.
First Step of USMLE
It is a three-step process and the first step involves an exam with multiple-choice questions, where the emphasis is on anatomy, basic science principles, biochemistry, behavioral science, pathology, microbiology, genetics, nutrition, pharmacology, and physiology. This test is administered through an appointment and is available throughout the year. The planning period for a student would be around six to nine months for this step. This exam is designed to see how well a student applies his basic and integral concepts to clinical situations.
Second Step of USMLE
The second step involves two separate exams one is clinical knowledge which is a multiple-choice exam to assess if a student knows clinical science and skills required for patient care under supervision. The other set includes clinical skills which are a hands-on exam, to assess the communication skills, the ability to gather patient information, write a patient note and communicate the findings to the patient after the physical examination.
Third Step of USMLE
The third step is again a multiple-choice exam where the student’s ability and understanding of biomedical and clinical science is assessed for unsupervised practice and emphasis is on patient management in ambulatory situations.
The third step is usually the last of the series of USMLE exams because international students must be ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certified to take this third step. High scores in all the steps and a strong application is the most important factor to obtain a residency and qualify for an H visa. International medical students wishing to obtain a post-graduate medical residency training position have to follow all the steps mentioned above.
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