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Old 02-27-2015
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Star IMG about to start the USMLE journey.

Hi everyone! I have been reading posts on this forum site for the past 3 - 5 years and you guys (especially IMGs) inspire me to get back on track with hopes of practicing medicine in the US. I am IMG from the Philippines (2008) and recently completed a Pathology (both Anatomic and Clinical) residency in 2014 from a government (tertiary) medical center. Even before I graduated in medschool, I have plans of taking up the USMLE but did not have a clue as where to start. I had the oppurtunity to visit the US on tourist visa on 2011 for a month (already on my first year of residency) and that made me see how I would want to live and work there someday. So I decided to go for it during second year of residency -- I took the Step 1 on 2012 (Philippines) but sadly, failed. Well, I only have myself to blame at that time because I went through it hurriedly, without proper planning and concentration for the review. For a while, that really discouraged me and did not plan on taking up anymore so I decided to concentrate on my residency.

Fast forward 2014, I was just about done with my training and decided to take some time off. I wasn't planning on taking the National Diplomate exams just yet so I decided to apply as a Pathologist Assistant (We are not allowed to practice without a Diplomate license) and accepted a part time faculty position from my Medical School and the College of Pharmacy. Working as a faculty gave me the chance to go back in the basics and I was happy I was teaching and re-learning at the same time. Working for a senior pathologists all the more increased my desire of pursuing Pathology in the US because I felt I have much, much more to learn.

So I am now in my last month of teaching and I will be starting my applications again pretty soon. My plan is just to take one step at a time. I know that time is essential for someone who has graduated for more than 5 years but I also believe that it is essential for someone who plans to make it good in her intended direction.

I am planning to take my Step 1 between September and October 2015 which will give me time to really start out fresh in my review. I will be coming to the US early May and will stay for the next 6 months and will do self - review with the help of on line assessment tests. Reading some of the posts about how soe of you guys prepared also gave me a good idea...thank you! I am planning to go for a preliminary NBME exam as a pre test to see where I stand and from there, do in depth review for the next 2 or 3 months. After which, I plan to use Uworld and NBME again for post testing and re assessment of my status. And do a couple more cycle of tests alternating with high yield reviews. As for a goal score -- well, who wouldn't want a 99?

I hope that I could share more of my journey here as I start out and get into it. I also hope that you could share a feedback or two with regards to laid out plans and I wish that I could also be of help to some of you. Or you could just say Hi -- that would still be great!

Now, I don't want to get all excited and ask about the next tests but I will be asking about the chances of getting a USCE in Pathology? Is it going to be difficult and when is the best time to do that? After Step 2 or Step 3? Thanks.

Best of luck to all of us!

PS I would be happy to share some Pathology materials. I have compiled some slides and notes during residency that could be of help.
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