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USMLE experience-Part-I

Posted on the 05 April 2018 by Medicalminds @Sarina_Med

This is my first public post about my journey as an International Medical Graduate applying for residency in the United States of America. It started in Internship when I decided that I really wanted to do this.I started reading Kaplan Textbooks with a friend. Then eventually, I wanted to fill my CV with experiences and letter of recommendations and also wanted to utilize the board certification from Nepal to work there as an independent physician.

I started studying for the exams after the massive earthquake and things changed for me after that.  Every experience that you get makes you a different person and that is what happened to me. The earthquake killed some portion of Innocence that I had and it made me stronger and even more courageous because I came out of it alive. It was after the earthquake that I decided to have some protected time for studying for the step exams.

Starting to study is easy but maintaining it is tough. The process involves locking yourself up in a room and trying to understand, assimilate and utilize the information. USMLE wants you to be a physician that can correlate symptoms with basic science and clinical knowledge. It’s an aptitude test just like GRE and GMAT but at the same time, you need to ace it to get into the race!

When you come to the point when you are done with all the tests, you would think that’s all required but it’s not. It should start the moment you even apply for the USMLE exams. Looking for observerships, externships ( when you are a medical student), clinical research is also equally important.  How do you get all those? I wrote to all the residency programs asking for it. I had to spend an innumerable amount of time writing emails to programs asking them to give me an opportunity and among the four hundred plus programs that I wrote to only one gave me the most positive response.

Your first approach should be, grab whatever you get and make the most out of it. I started with a private clinic experience and later on moved to a community-based residency program and an university-based residency program.  I was happy to observe both programs as I equally enjoyed the teaching and learning experiences. I saw myself being a resident, an intern doing and learning every single day. The whole point about going for experiences is also to increase your network and to find people who will recommend you.

Beyond all the exams and experiences comes the most crucial period of your journey. The application process, the time where you fill your information and submit it to the desired residency programs.

( To be continued…) 

USMLE experience-Part-I

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