Monday, August 21, 2006



Normal score reporting for Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) usually occurs in 3-4 weeks. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, it will be necessary to delay the reporting of scores of some examinees for an additional 3-4 weeks beyond the normal turnaround period. The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing from August 3 through the middle of August will be Wednesday, September 13, 2006.

2006 Match Performance - Number of IMGs Matching Increases

2006 Match Performance - Number of IMGs Matching Increases

For the fourth consecutive year, the number of first year (PGY-1) residency positions offered through the Match increased. A total of 21,659 first year positions were offered in the 2006 Match, held earlier this month. This represents an increase of 205 positions compared to last year and an increase of 1,057 positions since 2002.

The number of IMGs who matched to first year positions increased by 152, compared to 2005. Of the 8,877 IMGs who participated in the 2006 Match, 4,382* (49.4%) matched. In the 2005 Match, 4,230 (55.3%) IMG participants were matched to first year positions.

There was an increase in the number of matches for both U.S. citizen IMGs and IMGs who are citizens of other countries.

Of the 6,442 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 3,151 (48.9%) obtained first year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions in 2006 increased by 64 compared to last year. This is the fifth consecutive year that there has been an increase in the number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first year positions.

Of the 2,435 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 1,231 (50.6%) were matched to first year positions, an increase of 88 over last year. This is the third consecutive year that there has been an increase in the number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first year positions.

There were 51 Fifth Pathway participants in the 2006 Match. Of these 51 participants, 22 (43.1%) were matched to first year positions.

*Note: The total number of IMGs who will fill PGY-1 positions for the 2006-2007 academic year will be higher than this number, since a significant number of IMGs obtain PGY-1 positions outside of the Match.


Friday, August 18, 2006

resources for Step 1 - Highly Recommended

Kaplan Qbank and Kaplan Simulated Exam - they contain several thousands of questions.

Kaplan Video Lectures - very popular among medical students.

NBME online practice test-there are 150 free questions on the internet plus I think you can buy more. Will make you feel much better about yourself compared to Q Bank. Suggest you take it as 3, 50 question tests towards end of studying. Comparable to actual boards.

Kaplan webprep (online lectures) and lecture material

University of Utah’s “Webpath”-some students thought it was helpful

Books - highly recommended for USMLE Step 1

Anatomy: High Yield Anatomy
Histology: Section in First Aid is good enough-High Yield has some good pictures you might want to check out
Neuroscience: High Yield Neuroanatomy
Physiology: BRS Physiology-MUST HAVE
Biochemistry: High Yield Biochemistry
Human Behavior: High Yield Human Behavior
Pathology: BRS Pathology-MUST HAVE
Microbiology/Immunology: High Yield is great-good tips for memorization, LANGE for Immunology is probably your best bet, High Yield is OK for immunology
EBM: High Yield Human Behavior, Section from First Aid is adequate-you will just have finished EBM with Dr. Davidson-so don’t stress this topic
Pharmacology: High Yield Pharm and section in First Aid will be enough-test out on pharm shelf and and adjust accordingly

Must have books for Step 1

“First Aid for the USMLE Step 1” by Bhushan, Le, Amin

If reading only one book, this would be the one.
Good overall subject review with advice on all aspects of taking the boards.

Room to fill in extra notes (may want to get your own to scribble in)- This book can only take you so far. I encourage you to take notes from other sources and transfer into this book. Therefore, your last few days of studying you will have all the highest yield info in one book.

Good review of most available books and resources (gives all the other review books a “grade”)

Which USMLE Step One materials/courses did you use?

% of Class Study material/course Score

97.6% Online Qbank 3.74

34.4% Northwestern 1.64

31.1% What You Need To Know 3.34

12.9% Kaplan Live 3.11

0.5% Falcon Review 2.00

94.7% First Aid 3.69

76.1% BRS 3.21

5.7% Other 3.33

Understanding Funding opportunities: Student Jobs, Scholarships & Assistantships

Understanding Funding opportunities: Student Jobs, Scholarships & Assistantships
How do we fund our education while studying at an American University ?

There are three standard sources for Masters and PhD students, which are often clubbed together in a single concept "Financial Aid"

1. Student Jobs: These are the various student jobs that one can on-campus such as Dining services, Library, Book stores, Computer Labs, etc. These jobs typically pay about 6 to 10 dollars an hour and have NO fee waivers.

2. Scholarships : This refers to either partial or complete fee/tuition waivers (i.e. discounts) with or without a monthly or semester scholarship money. These are highly variable and are granted either at the department level or the University level. There are official deadlines for these, so look them on the websites!

3. Assistantships: These are the most sought after funding opportunities because they make life much easier and look good on the resume too.

Assistantships are of two types : Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships. Now, each of these assistantships can either be half-time (20 hours a week) or Quarter-time(10 hours a week) & typically pay about 11.5 to 15 $ per hour. Besides a monthly stipend, assistantships normally include a complete tuition waiver (i.e. complete academic fees discount) AND in most universities now include a free health insurance

A teaching assistant teaches some parts of a course (especially assisgnment discussions and paper gradings) to the undergraduate students. So people, if the department you are applying to, does not have any undergraduate courses, there wont be a teaching assistantship offered !

In many universities, assistantships are often offered automatically to some admitted PhD students. In other cases, they may be reserved only for the students of that particular department. In such cases, some students have known to opt for a dual degree to be eligible for these. For example, I knew a student who came to my university for a Masters in Electrical Engineering and signed up for a dual degree in BioEngineering to get a Assistantship from the BioEngineering Department ! [which obviously also means an extra year - but two Masters :-)]

Top Residency Programs

US News Ranking are the standard reference for rankings used to assess schools and residency programs in the United States.

The Top THREE Residency Programs in Internal Medicine (2006 US News Report)

1. Johns Hopkins University
2. Harvard Medical School
3. University Of California - San Francisco

The Top THREE Residency Programs in Family Medicine (2006 US News Report)

1. University of Washington : Website
2. University of North Carolina-Chapell Hill
3. University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Top THREE Residency Programs in Pediatrics (2006 US News Report)

1. Harvard University
2. University of Pennsylvania
3 . Johns Hopkins University

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Looking for free USMLE Step 2 CS cases

Are you looking for USMLE Step 2 CS cases for free.
Try here:

Pass Program Videos - Dr. Francis empowers you for USMLE

The breakdown of those materials are as follows:

DVD1: Endocrine, Gastrointestinal, Hematology, and Immunology 1 & 2, Goljan Audio and Notes

DVD2: Metabolic physiology, Pulmonary functions, Renal functions and Muscle physiology, Biochemistry 1 & 2,

DVD3: Microbiology, Cardiovascular, Cell & Membrane Physiology, Neurology and Vitamins, 300+ pages notes.

The clarity and simplication of the explainations of certain key concepts are second to none. You will understand and retain the specificities of the pathophysiology of the most high yield disease processes that you will be tested on. You will also be provided with test taking skills that will enable you to quickly recognize distractors and clues.

Read more about Pass Program Videos from Dr. Francis here