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Questions about USMLE for Canadians

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Hi there,

I'm a Canadian 2nd year med student, and I was thinking of writing the USMLE this summer.

I know for sure that I will not be doing my residency in the US, but I haven't rulled out any fellowships. I read online that a few states require the USMLE for fellowships, but a large majority do not. Here are my questions:


1. What's the current trend? Will US continue to make it harder to Canadian graduates to do fellowships etc.., in which case it's better to do USMLE to be safe?


2. As I understand marks do not matter for fellowships, just need a pass? I worried about getting burned if marks do end up being important and I have ****ty passing grade which I can never correct.


3. I'm at the end of my 2nd year of a 4 year med school program. How long would you advise to study in order to pass? I know it varies from person to person, I just need a rough estimate so I can plan my summer. (i.e. should I study 4 weeks or should i dedicate full summer?) Maybe share some experiences if you can. Is it more studying than MCAT?


thanks a lot!


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1. There's no trend, from what I can tell the same states require the USMLE now as did several years ago. Some examples of states that require it include California, Florida, and Utah. The information available on this topic is really quite poor.


2. I used to think the marks didn't matter, but recently spent time with a fellowship program director in the US who definitely looks at them. He said most people do. However, it is far and away not the most important aspect of the application and the fact that you are Canadian and don't have to write the USMLE is something easily explained in an interview. The decision on whether to study much is a personal one. I'm in the process of writing them currently and am just shooting for a pass, which really takes very little studying (probably even less if the material is fresh). That's what my cost-benefit analysis came up with but everyone's circumstances are different.


3. I'm a third year ortho resident with a family and little free-time. I'm probably an above average test-taker. I studied in the evenings and on weekends for a month and got a slightly above average score. My studying consisted of going through about 1000 questions on USMLE world and reading about 1/3 of First Aid. If you write the USMLE I at the end of Meds II, you could probably pass without studying. If I were you I would cram for two weeks by doing USMLE World questions and then have the rest of your summer to do fun stuff.

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is it true that CARMS results are released a week or so before American ones, and if you are accepted anywhere, you are automatically withdrawn from the American pool? or is it vice versa, with American results being released first and being withdrawn from the Canadian pool? or is this not accurate...

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