Saturday, July 22, 2006

42 day Study Schedule for USMLE Step 1

Have you checked this USMLE Step 1 Study Schedule?

Many USMLE takers consider this as one of the MUST HAVE for Step 1 preparation.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) Information

ECFMG Basics

The ECFMG is the organization charged with ensuring that physicians who have graduated from foriegn medical schools are qualified to pursue a medical license in the United States. Being certified by the ECFMG is a pre-requisite to applying for the USMLE Step 3 exam, and a pre-requisite for entering an ACGME-accredited residency program. Visit for details and official requirements.

Eligible Medical Schools

Only students who attended medical schools listed in the International Medical Education Directory (AKA IMED) are eligible to apply for ECFMG certification. The standards are even more strict than simply being listed: a student's year of graduation must also be listed in the IMED database. That is, if you graduated from a medical in a year that your school was not accredited by IMED, you cannot apply to the ECFMG.

Examination Requirements to Apply for ECFMG

In addition to the medical education portion of the requirements, applicants must pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 (clinical knowledge and clinical skills). As long as you are eligible to take these exams, you may take them in any order. For detailed information on requirements visit the ECFMG official site.

Residencies can be hard to find for international medical graduates. A variety of resources are available to help with the match and scramble, we recommend the IMG Residency Guide.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

USMLE score distribution

Most applicants have a general impression of how competitive their USMLE scores are, but it's difficult to get data to support their impressions. We've compiled some data on how competitive USMLE scores are for different situations. Since residency programs are notoriously tight-lipped (and appropriately so) about the USMLE scores of their residents, we can't guaranty any of the conclusions - but we do think they are in the right range. Let us know what you think after you visit this USMLE scores page.

  • top internal medicine programs are looking for step 1 scores of 230 or better.
  • the average usmle step 1 score for applicants who matched in ophthalmology had a score of 224 (those who didn't match had an average score of 206).
  • Passing score (as of 1/16/04) is 182 according the NBME official USMLE site.
  • The average score is about 214 (estimate from the score distribution).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Medstudy Videos sale

There are 2 versions of Medstudy Videos available for sale on the market.

1 Version is 20 DVDs - in raw MPEG format -they can be played on any DVD player.
2 Version is 4 DVDs - in DIVX format (MP4 container) - they can be played on computer with the help of software DIVX player. You can read more about DIVX format here.

If you look for a place to buy Medstudy Videos - try looking here

Change in Minimum Passing Requirements for Step 2 Clinical Skills

Change in Minimum Passing Requirements for Step 2 Clinical Skills

The USMLE Step 2 Committee is responsible for setting and monitoring pass/fail standards for the Clinical Knowledge (CK) and the Clinical Skills (CS) examinations. Initial standards for the CS examination were set by the Committee in November 2004. Because this process was completed with less than a full year’s cohort of examinees, the Committee decided to closely monitor cumulative data on CS during the following year and to undertake a review of the CS standards in the Spring of 2006. This review has been completed.

Based upon the review, the Step 2 Committee has decided to raise the performance levels required to receive a passing outcome on two of the three Step 2 CS subcomponents: Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE) and Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS). There will be no change to minimum passing requirements for the third subcomponent of Step 2 CS, Spoken English Proficiency (SEP).

The new passing requirements will be applied to Step 2 CS examinations taken on and after July 16, 2006.

Read more about this at:

What are the most popular Step 2 CS Physical Exam Videos

What are the most popular Step 2 CS Physical Exam Videos

  • University of Washington Physical Exam movies
  • University of Virginia Physical Exam movies
  • Connecticut Physical Exam movies
Read more about USMLE CSA Physical Exam movies here:

Google keywords leading to this USMLESTEPS blog

GOOGLE Keywords Leading to this USMLE Blog

It is really funny to check my stats and track down which google keywords land people on this site...

Perhaps you also used one of them to get here.... Some of them are very very funny!

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Looking for Canada Medical Exam Study Materials (MCCEE or MCCQE)?

To be eligible for MCCQE Part 1, IMGs must pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). The MCCEE is held in various locations throughout Canada and the world, and is open to all IMGs holding an acceptable medical degree.

Passing the MCCEE gives access to MCCQE Part 1. For access to Part 2, both a pass standing on Part 1 and previous completion of twelve months of postgraduate training are required. This training may be taken anywhere in the world.

There is a lot of overlap between USMLE and MCCEE/MCCQE - try for more information about USMLE materials.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kaplan Webprep - vs. Kaplan Video Lectures

Great review for USMLE Step 1

  • Immunology (3 hours)
  • Behavioral Science (10 hours)
  • Pharmacology (10 hours)
  • Biochemistry (11 hours)
  • Physiology (10 hours)
  • Anatomy ( 13 instead of 6 hours)
  • Pathology (12 hours)
  • Microbiology (6 hours)
  • Medical Genetics (6 hours)

Kaplan Notes for USMLE Step 2

Kaplan Notes for USMLE Step 2

There a 6 books covering the following topics:

Infectious Diseases
Preventive Medicine

There are 2 editions of USMLE Step 2 Notes available: US and international.
They are same in terms of content - the onyl difference is the quality of paper used for printing.

You can get scanned notes or hardcopy notes from here:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Usmle Step 1 Kaplan Video

Also known as Kaplan CenterPrep Videos

Anatomy and Embryo- Dr. David Seiden- ~12.5 hours
Genetics- Dr Vernon Reichenbecher - ~6.5 hours
Histo- James White- ~3.5 hours
Physiology- Dr. Robert Dunn- ~30.5 hours
Immunology- Dr. Don Dunn- ~5.5 hours
Micro- Dr. Don Dunn ~ 14.5 hours
Biochemistry- Dr. Lionel Raymond ~20 hrs
Neuro- Dr. James White ~11 hrs
Pharm- Dr Anthony Trevor ~35 hrs
Pathology- Dr. John Baron ~23 hrs
Behavioral Science- Steven Daugherty ~11 hrs

Great for USMLE Step 1 Review:
Read here for more information:

Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and the USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step national competency test required for physicians before they can practice medicine. Step 1 is traditionally taken by second-year medical students, and tests basic physiologic mechanisms and principles. Step 2 emphasizes clinical diagnosis and disease pathogenesis, and is traditionally taken at the end of medical school. Step 3 tests first year residents in clinical management.

Those seeking ECFMG certification can take Step 1 and Step 2 in any order, but must pass both in order to take Step 3. Since their introduction (Steps 1 and 2 in 1992 and Step 3 in 1994) each has been administered twice annually in a two-day format consisting of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), either "one best answer" or "extended matching."

Until last year the USMLE was only administered as a written exam, commonly referred to as pen-and-paper testing (PPT). In March 1999, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) -- after years of study and development, accompanied by much controversy -- launched computerized-based testing (CBT). USMLE Step 1 was computerized in May, Step 2 in August, and Step 3 will be computer-administered in mid-November of 1999. By the end of November, a great many medical students and physicians-in-training will have experienced national standardized CBT.

General Surgery: possible for IMG?

Definitely tough - but a residency in general surgery ain't impossible. A friend of mine recently got a residency position at the Methodist Hospital System in Houston on a J1 Visa and I shall be putting up advice from him pretty soon.

It's surely tougher than IM or FP, and it usually is a 1-year "preliminary" position that is granted.

However, ground work is needed - observerships count a lot ! surgical research too counts. Fellowship options after General Surgery ? These include cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, surgical oncology, plastic surgery, etc.

Here are some places that are knowned to have offered General Surgery Observerships in the past:

St. Luke's Hospital of Bethlehem (PA)
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Buffalo
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Pittsburgh
University of Tennessee
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Vanderbilt University

PLASTIC SURGEON - how much can you earn

Cash is Paper.... Credit Cards are Plastic , whatever it may be, you sure need some serious money if you wanna use the services of a Plastic Surgeon. Hollywood needs them all the time, like Ashlee Simpson and Jessica Simpson recently did for their noses ;-)

Here's are some average plastic surgeon salaries :

Houston: $ 299,000/-
Los Angeles: $ 326,000/-
New York: $341,000/-
Seattle: $317,000/-

How to get into Plastic Surgery ? Let me quote text from the Harvard Program:

"There are two tracks : (1) an independent three-year program open to applicants who have completed at least three years of a general surgery residency or other approved prerequisite residency, and (2) an integrated six-year program open to applicants who have completed medical school. In the six-year program, the first three years will be spent in a general surgery residency with general surgery rotations and rotations specifically relevant to plastic surgery; the final three years will be spent doing a program identical to that of the independent three-year program residents."

Obviousle very difficult for IMG - but there have been a few who made it with proper planning, clinical exposure, knowing the right people and ofcourse - superb surgical skills !

NOTE: Salaries here are the 50th Percentile Salaries and may apply to mid-career levels - the lower percentile salaries (for fresh physicians) may actually be lower by 30,000- 40,000 $