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USMLE Step 3

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For those considering taking Step 3, here are just some general thoughts and reflections I made. I just found out my score today, did average, but it's a pass so everything is good.

1) UWorld is very important. Although I found the question stems a bit too long, the level of knowledge is appropriate. Also in my case my UW overall % correlated well with how I did on the real thing.

2) Biostat review is very very helpful, almost free marks if can master this. The drug ads can be intimidating, so make sure you read the question carefully and know what they want, then go into the ad to look for the info. A wise strategy is to leave the drug ads to the end if you have time.

3) Don't underestimate CCS. I did not do well on first day and first part of second day, but because I did really well on CCS, my overall mark was reasonable. Really familiarize yourself with the software and interface. Develop an ordering habit. For example it never hurts to put someone in ER on pulse oximeter, cardiac monitor, frequent vitals, etc. Those are free marks. 

4) Take breaks, bring food and water. The Step 3 is the most daunting test I've ever written. I took frequent breaks, walked around and did some deep breathing in between blocks. Book a good quality hotel and sleep well. 

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Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Personally, I have done Step1 & 2CK (did average on Step 1; destroyed CK). Gotta tackle Step 2 CS & Step 3 at some point.

Don't a lot of ppl say Step 1 is by far the biggest challenge of all? Why do you say Step 3's the most daunting test you've ever written? I guess part of it has to do with it being over 2 days...but feel free to elaborate on it.

Congrats on being done with USMLE for life ;)

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There's a couple of reasons I found it difficult:

1) it's 2 days and I wrote it back to back. You could write them apart but it's hard to get days off in residency. Also you must be in USA to write it.

2) It's 90% internal/family/ER. It's difficult for people in specialties that don't deal with these areas. For example I don't deal with people who have CHF or COPDE or Asthma so I am not familiar regarding the guidelines for medical management. I am sure for IM/FM people Step 3 is a walk in the park.

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20 hours ago, Cain said:

How did you prepare for this examination? What were your sources, and how long did you spend preparing?


It requires another trip to the USA? That sucks.


Did all the UWorld questions once, including live CCS cases. Had 3 mo subscription. 1 week before exam printed out all the UWorld CCS cases and read through them.

I took the greyhound to Detroit. It was the cheapest option available at 30 bucks lol, left at 3am, arrived at 6:30 AM, started test at 8AM. Stayed at hotel overnight, did day 2, took bus  and arrived back at 4am. Fun trip visiting downtown Detroit lol. Gotta admit fast food in US is dirt cheap, no wonder they have obesity problem. 

Looking forward to a trip to FL for board certification exam in 2.5 years. Probably a lot nicer than Detroit lol.

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