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when do i take the licencing exams?

Guest ocean11

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Guest ocean11

hi all,


i am wondering when in med school does one take the licencing exams, or boards? and how many parts are there? is it similar to the USMLE

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Guest Sarah371

Ocean 11,

You take the first step of your general licensing exam after 4th year of med school and then your step two at the end of 2nd year residency or during your third year.


You are also required to take a board exam at the end of residency.


Different specialties also have exams General Internal Medicine exam is taken during your forth year of residency and your Principles of Surgery exam id taken after your second year of residency.



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  • 1 month later...


I'm going into my 3rd year and I just wrote the USMLE step 1 a couple days ago. It got me started thinking about all the Canadian licensing exams that I will also have to take in order to obtain at least J1 visa to do my residency in the US. Mind you, I will be considered a IMG and I need to know if there are any more hurdles for me as IMG in order to write the Canadian licensing exams. Thanks in advance.

Take care.

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YOu need to take the evaluating exam, so you take three Canadian exams instead of two. Why do you need to take the Canadian exams for a J1? Is this a new requirement or has this always been the case?

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Guest Ian Wong

In the States, Step 1 is usually done after Med 2, Step 2 sometime in Med 4, and Step 3 after your first year of residency. Usually you have a great deal of flexibility in the time you can write it, unless your med school requires it to be done at a certain point in your career (ie. certain US med schools might require you to have written Step 2 at the end of your third year rotations, instead of putting it off until after you match).


In Canada, the MCCQE Part 1 (also known as the LMCC Part 1) is written at the very end of Med 4. The MCCQE Part 2 (aka LMCC Part 2) is written just after your first year of residency. Unlike the USMLE, there is very little flexibility in when you can write this exam; the Medical Council of Canada only offers it in a very selected series of dates.


In order to get a Statement of Need from Health Canada, you have to first supply them proof that you've either passed the MCCEE (the evaluating exam analogue of the MCCQE Part 1), or else passed the MCCQE Part 1 itself). The problem is that this exam is again only offered in a very narrow band of time; a quick check of the MCC website shows that the exam will only be offered 3 times in 2004 (on January 8th, May 13th, and Sept. 9th).





The issue at hand is that I think you can only sit for the MCCEE if you've graduated med school, or have otherwise finished all the requirements for graduation. This means that the earliest you can probably take the exam in your graduating year is the May exam date. The problem is that since that result often doesn't come back until 3 or so weeks later, and only then can you apply for a Health Canada Statement of Need (which might take another week or two), and then apply for your J-1 visa (which might take another month), it will be very hard for you to get your visa and all other US documentation (SSN, resident physician state medical license, etc) in time to start for July 1 of that year.


This is another reason that the H1B visa is favoured, because there's no need to waste time writing the MCCEE or going through Health Canada. And by paying an extra $1000, you can get expedited processing of your visa down to a couple weeks between application and visa confirmation.


More info on getting a J-1 or H1B visa can be found at the Health Canada page here, and also at the following Premed101 link:






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