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011235813

USMLE at McMaster

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Hey,

Any McMaster students who wrote the USMLE (Step 1 and Step 2; Step 1 to start with) and achieved a good score, could we get some tips about how you achieved this? Because it's a 3 year program, it would be nice to get some ideas about how to achieve this and keep our US options open!

(Advice from Calgary students would be awesome too! Any school to be honest, but 3 year students would be really nice!)

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Mac student here. I did not write the USMLE. It is extremely difficult to do. There is very little content overlap in Mac's curriculum with the Step 1 content, and very little time to study on your own, as we don't get extended breaks. For anyone else reading this thread, I would strongly suggest that if you are reasonably interested in a US residency to go to a 4 year school where you can study during your first summer. If you are writing for fellowships it might make more sense to wait until the end of medical school and study during the MCCQE and break before starting residency to write the exam.

The step 2 is more similar to the MCCQE exam, and the study overlaps somewhat. I and a lot of my classmates used the step 2 uworld question bank to study for the MCCQE, but the questions are harder, the content distribution is different, and the content is more obscure in my opinion. I had classmates that wrote step 2 (before having done step 1), around the same time as the MCCQE, and were only shooting for passing grades for future fellowship applications. They don't have their results back yet but I hear it was brutal.

Step 3 you can do in residency so its not a big deal I think.

There are a lot of resources online and at forums.studentdoctor.net on a self-directed studying plan, I would start there. If you are really serious I would consider taking an extended research elective during elective periods to split with time studying. This will hurt other aspects of your residency application though as we get limited pre-CaRMS elective time so its quite valuable.

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16 minutes ago, bearded frog said:

Mac student here. I did not write the USMLE. It is extremely difficult to do. There is very little content overlap in Mac's curriculum with the Step 1 content, and very little time to study on your own, as we don't get extended breaks. For anyone else reading this thread, I would strongly suggest that if you are reasonably interested in a US residency to go to a 4 year school where you can study during your first summer. If you are writing for fellowships it might make more sense to wait until the end of medical school and study during the MCCQE and break before starting residency to write the exam.

The step 2 is more similar to the MCCQE exam, and the study overlaps somewhat. I and a lot of my classmates used the step 2 uworld question bank to study for the MCCQE, but the questions are harder, the content distribution is different, and the content is more obscure in my opinion. I had classmates that wrote step 2 (before having done step 1), around the same time as the MCCQE, and were only shooting for passing grades for future fellowship applications. They don't have their results back yet but I hear it was brutal.

Step 3 you can do in residency so its not a big deal I think.

There are a lot of resources online and at forums.studentdoctor.net on a self-directed studying plan, I would start there. If you are really serious I would consider taking an extended research elective during elective periods to split with time studying. This will hurt other aspects of your residency application though as we get limited pre-CaRMS elective time so its quite valuable.

This. 

Also Mac grad here, I've heard of some people using their post-MF4 elective to study for Step 1! 

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On 6/7/2017 at 0:08 PM, f011235813 said:

Hey,

Any McMaster students who wrote the USMLE (Step 1 and Step 2; Step 1 to start with) and achieved a good score, could we get some tips about how you achieved this? Because it's a 3 year program, it would be nice to get some ideas about how to achieve this and keep our US options open!

(Advice from Calgary students would be awesome too! Any school to be honest, but 3 year students would be really nice!)

PM me if you would like. Its definitely doable but difficult. McMaster doesn't teach much as a whole, which leaves you a lot of room to study on your own which is a good thing, but the 3 year program and the fact that whatever McMaster does teach is geared more towards Step 2 than Step 1 definitely makes studying for Step 1 difficult. If you are interested in keeping your US options open for fellowship, I would recommend writing the Step 1 if you really feel capable at the end of pre-clerkship or the beginning of clerkship. If you don't write it then, write it after you graduate along with your Step 2 CK. 

If you are serious about doing residency in the states I would seriously consider doing a MD/MSc or an enrichment year which is offered at Mac, this gives you more time to do electives in the states and study for the USMLE. 

Mac requires you to be independent, but it does give you the option of doing what you want. 

 

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