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  #1  
Old 06-02-2010
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Unhappy Too old for USMLE??

This USMLE forum is quite interesting and very informative. I am however feeling a bit overwhelmed and sometimes dismayed, by what is posted here.
Let me explain. I am about to start preparing to take the exams... I have not even applied yet, but hearing that I may have to spend 10hrs a day studying for Step 1, is downright scary!!!!!!
I am an OLD IMG......18 years post graduation, who will have to move to the US, as we have finally received our green cards(after 13 years).
The road ahead looks daunting, as I work full time and have teenage kids.
Should I even take the exams? Perhaps I should come to the US, and get a job as a drug rep.
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2010
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It's never too late in America. I've seen a Japanese resident who's 58 years old!

However, it's very important to have strong determination and will in order to survive. You have to prepare your mind and your family for a "fighting" years to come.

As far as how many hours per day; this is highly individualized. I know friends who aced the exam in a couple of months reading a couple of hours per day and on the other hand I've seen students reading "12 hours" per day yet they did not score very high.

It all depends on you and how you read and how much background knowledge you have. If you have been working in the clinical field then you wouldn't need that long time preparing for the CK exam for example.

Also, I noticed that (by virtue of their stressful life) students tend to exaggerate the number of hours they quote reading. Perhaps, someone who's telling that he/she is reading 10 hours per day is in fact only focusing with actual reading for 3 or 4 hours per day.

Do not despair and go ahead and do it.

We are all here in this website here to help you.

I also recommend you look at these two polls to get an idea about the time frame:
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...-step-1-a.html
and
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...step-2-ck.html
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2010
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It's never too old for this exam, and never too old to become a physician. It's up to you and what you want to accomplish in this field. Like the previous poster said, it's not the time you put into studying the materials. It is the way you study the whole and the least to make you pass the exam. Your attitude, your attention to details and determination will surely get you there. By the way, one of my bud, 61 YO, is in Chicago in rotation after he just passed the exam. You see?? Be strong and keep it rolling! No body will say that doctor is too old, but they will surely say that you have accomplished a lot to be where you are. it's just not easy for anyone. Period
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2010
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You need to cover your graduation dates by 3 things:
1-Aim to score above 95, start studying from now even if you didn't registered for USMLE yet
2- Do observerships, in your case, you will need at least one in FM and one in Psychiatry to get at least 2-4 LOrs. ALso bring LORs from your home country in these two specialties.
3-GC is a plus for you and I think it will help you.

Goodluck
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2010
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Help Best Order to take exams for OLD IMG !

Thanks so much for replying so quickly everyone!
There is certainly so much to think about, and I plan to keep moving forward, and to keep the goal of practicing medicine in the forefront of my mind.
Before I entered this forum, I had decided to take the Step 2 CK first, then Step 1, then Step2 CS. This decision was based on the fact that I have been in the clinical arena for 18 years now, and so the CK aspect would not be so daunting a prospect.
Then, when I had passed the Step 2 CK, I would have more confidence, and be more motivated, to tackle Step1.
However on the poll I read in this forum, most people advise doing Step 1 first.
Based on my particular situation, what are your thoughts on the order in which I should take the exams?
Looking forward to your welcome replies
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Old 06-03-2010
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I agree Yes, it's a good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipd2346 View Post
Then, when I had passed the Step 2 CK, I would have more confidence, and be more motivated, to tackle Step1.
However on the poll I read in this forum, most people advise doing Step 1 first.
Based on my particular situation, what are your thoughts on the order in which I should take the exams?
Looking forward to your welcome replies
I'd say that your plan is a good way to get you kicked off as you won't find the CK materials enough and it will set you rolling.
Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams are getting closer to each other nowadays and when you prep for one them you have to background it with the other anyway.
More pathophysiology questions are seen in CK and more clinical questions are seen in Step 1.
However, if you are going to follow method 1 then you probably start CK as the preparation would be shorted than Step 1.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2010
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Most old graduates will take ck first, because the studying materials will be more familiar and also if God forbid they didn't pass then they will know that it may not be worth to go to step 1 at this time which is more difficult. Generally speaking step1 needs more time for studying, so if you need to calculate your time that presumbly you will give for each step and apply accordingly.

Goodluck
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
I'd say that your plan is a good way to get you kicked off as you won't find the CK materials enough and it will set you rolling.
Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams are getting closer to each other nowadays and when you prep for one them you have to background it with the other anyway.
More pathophysiology questions are seen in CK and more clinical questions are seen in Step 1.
However, if you are going to follow method 1 then you probably start CK as the preparation would be shorted than Step 1.

When u say I wont find the CK materials enough, what do u mean?
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipd2346 View Post
When u say I wont find the CK materials enough, what do u mean?
Sorry, I meant you won't find CK materials very large and easier to read.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2010
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Don't despair.

If people and yourself keep labeling you "old grad", it should start there. STOP calling yourself an old grad. You're a doctor no matter what whether you graduated 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago.

2nd: Your situation may be more demanding with teenagers but no different from anyone else, I have 2 kids in college, 1 in h.s. and will be in college in 2 yrs., and a single parent.

3rd: It only takes your whole determination (not half hearted) to do what you want, forget about what you read in the forum, it's YOU who will take the bacon home no matter what.

4th: Make your decision and run with it---no matter what you hear or read. Just do it!

5th: Create your plans and let your family know what you want to accomplish so they know what to expect from you and they'll cut you some slacks.

After acquiring my RN license I already thought of doing the USMLE because I knew I will not be happy being a nurse knowing I can still take it to the next level. Would you?
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