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THERE WILL BE CHANGES IN THE USMLE STRUCTURE. IS IT GOING TO BE WORSE FOR IMGS AND CARIBBEAN MEDICAL SCHOOLS GRADUATES?

April 6, 2008

  • The USMLE is currently undergoing a periodic review to ensure that it is doing what it was meant to do.

  • The following have been tentatively proposed:

    • Combine the USMLE Steps 1 and 2 into a single exam that would test BOTH basic science and clinical science competency.

    • Pass/fail could replace the current numerical score. This is separate issue and may be implemented even if a combined exam is not.

  • The combination exam would be used for residency application. Thus, the exam would be administered earlier in training than the current Step 2.

  • Timeline:

    • The final recommendation will be made by January 2008. After which the implications and feasibility of the recommendations will be studied. The Composite committee which governs the USMLE will make the final recommendation to all major organizations involved in the USMLE for their review.

    • The earliest year the exam would be affected would be 2011. There likely will be a grace period to allow for students who have passed Step 1 to take Step 2.

As a student-driven organization, APSA believes that it is important to generate as much student input as possible on this issue. Therefore, we have designed a survey, Student attitudes and perceptions of the proposed changes to the USMLE, to gather information on some of the key aspects of these proposed changes.

 

This is a survey that has been designed by students to gather information from students and residents. Our intentions are to present the tentatively proposed changes to the USMLE Step 1/2 exam and survey students opinions and perceptions of the impact of these changes.

 

To read more detailed explanation and take a survey check out APSA website here>>>

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CHANGES?

IT SEEMS LIKE IT IS GOING TO BE HARDER FOR THE IMGS AND US CITIZENS GRADUATED IN  COUNTRIES OUTSIDE US, BECAUSE HIGH SCORES ARE THE ONLY WAY FOR THEM TO FIND RESIDENCIES.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2008 6:25 pm

    Why do you think it will be more difficult for international students with this change? How will the admission to residency change?

  2. April 6, 2008 9:04 pm

    IMGs negatives:
    1. Language skills
    2. No US experience
    3. No good references
    4. Advanced age
    5. Many years without being in the medical field
    6. Busy with families and kids
    7. Need to work to support their family and to pay the expensive courses and fees
    8. the list could be longer…

    The only advantage IMGs can have is if they score excellent on the exams.

    If there is no more score on USMLE the chances of the IMGs to get a normal residency are less.

  3. April 25, 2008 5:27 am

    Nice post

  4. edgy_IMG permalink
    May 8, 2008 7:13 am

    There are lots of IMGs that don’t fall into your category of negatives. And even if you do, one year is more than enough time to work on you language skills, get US experience, start networking, earn good references, and still work and support your family… How? Get a job at a hospital. Unit secretary/ Telemetry Technician/ Phlebotomist/ Patient Care Tech are all good starting points for IMGs. You’re exposed to medical practice and if you have good relation skills with staff and doctor, the possibilities for clinical experince and good recommendations are only limited by your assertiveness. And what’s a year or so compared to a lifetime as a practicing doctor?

  5. May 10, 2008 12:26 am

    @edgy_IMG: Yes, not all of the IMGs are on the negative side. I know IMGs and fellows from other countries, who are way more reacher than the doctors in the hospital. That was for fun, but it is true.

    I agree that there are many different ways for an IMG to make his dream true. I work in a hospital for few yeas and I haven’t seen IMGs working as Unit secretary/ Telemetry Technician/ Phlebotomist/ Patient Care Tech. If you can tell us more about the pathway to obtain degree in this programs and how to find job in a hospital. Thanks!

  6. edgy_IMG permalink
    May 12, 2008 11:15 pm

    These jobs are all entry level, except for patient care tech which requires a 6 week training course. All you need is proof that you finished high school. But since we’re doctors, that shouldn’t matter. Just check you local hospital websites for jobs, they usually have their requirements posted. They are lowly jobs for someone with a medical degree, but it’s just a stepping stone to your career. One more thing, I took for granted you are already in the US legally for whatever reason. Getting a visa to come to the US to work is a whole other story.

  7. May 13, 2008 1:06 am

    @edgy_IMG: Thanks for the information. I work as a PCA (Patient Care Assistant) in a Hospital in Toronto, Canada. As you said this is a stepping stone, but now I know that without American citizenship or green card it is going to be very difficult to get a residency in US. However even the slim chances are still chances.
    If it is not secret, do you practice as a physician now?

  8. edgy_IMG permalink
    May 30, 2008 1:27 am

    Me and my wife are physicians. We moved to the US in July of 2006. We have a son. She will be starting residency at OU this July, IM. Hopefully I will be able to apply for the 2009 match.

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