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USMLE and Reference Letters

Guest graysonw

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Guest graysonw

Hey guys,

First off I was wondering what the test is called that we would write at the end of year 2 like America's USMLE?

also I was wondering what UBC's reference letter requirements are? One from X, one from Y, one from Z, but no A's or B's type thing? (if you know what I mean haha.)

and if I could tack on ONE more question (three!? get the hell out of here.) What are the med schools in Canada who do not have provincial bias?

Peace out!

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Guest Kooman



For UBC, you need an academic referee, community/service referee, and personal referee.


The schools that do not have provincial bias are UT, Queen's, UWO, and NOSM. That's all I can think of right now.

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Guest Burachan83

Forgive me if I'm wrong because I haven't even started medical school yet, but I believe there is no Canadian equivalent to the USMLE Step 1 that American med students take at the end of 2nd year. This is the breakdown of equivalency in comparing Canadian/American national exams:


(end of 2nd year) USMLE Step 1 = no Canadian equivalent

(end of 4th year) USMLE Step 2 = MCCQE Part 1

(end of PGY-1?) USMLE Step 3 = MCCQE Part 2


It's funny because in the US match they use the Step 1 as a critical part of the evaluation when you apply for residency (kind of like the MCAT for entry into med school) but they don't really have anything like that for CaRMS.

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Guest Melisende

While UWO and NOSM are not biased towards Ontario student, they do have regional biases. UWO favors people from South Western Ontario (eg. SWOMEN) and NOSM favors people from the north. UofT and Queens are the only two medical schools in Canada that have no geographical preferences.

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Guest Ian Wong

At the end of UBC Med 2, you will take a multiple choice exam known as the Comprehensive Exam in the Basic Sciences (CEBS). When my class went through it, we were the first class to have to take the exam, and it counted for a small proportion of our block marks. I'm not sure whether the policy has changed and it counts for anything grade-wise currently.


The CEBS is produced by the NBME, which is the US organization that produces the USMLE series of exams. Having done both, the CEBS is essentially identical in content and difficulty to the USMLE Step 1, it's just shorter and done in pencil on a scantron-type bubble sheet whereas the USMLE Steps 1-3 are done via computer at specialized Prometric testing centers.


Everything Burachan83 mentioned is on the money.



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