Old doc needs advice - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
USMLE Articles
Go Back   USMLE Forums > USMLE Step 2 CK Forum

USMLE Step 2 CK Forum USMLE Step 2 CK Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 2 CK exam

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-22-2015
USMLE Forums Newbie
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 4
Threads: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default Old doc needs advice

I am very old IMG (graduated in 2000). After graduation I was working for about 5 years in medical emergency and internal medicine units. For several years I was not involved in patient care and been doing epidemiological research. Now I wish to start studying for USMLE. I have been scanning through USMLE materials on YouTube, especially those by Dr Najeeb and Paul Bolin and discovered that I have still good memory of some subjects. I also read few subjects on older versions of Kaplan materials and enjoyed the clarity of the materials. In comparison to Kaplan, I have studied medicine from bulky books which were quite boring. However I need a complete and holistic program that covers s each and every area/subject that are tested in Step 1 and 2.
Can anyone give me advice and guide me with this long planned journey? This is a tough decision and I need to make it right from the start. I am a visual learner and enjoyed video lectures which I could later supplement by intensive reading.
My thinking was to start with Step 2 CK as that part is still fresh in my memory. However I have not been involved in pediatrics, surgery and obstetrics after medical school. I know my strongest areas are epidemiology, microbiology, internal medicine, especially infections, respiratory medicine and neurology. My weakest areas are biochemistry, immunology, and embryology, pediatrics and OB-GY.
I am open for any ideas, suggestion and tips. I specifically need study schedule and which study materials (books, questions banks) to purchase. I have no plan and interest to attend lectures and wish to study on my own. I am also not in a hurry to sit for the exams (I am already late why rush now) thus I plan to allocate a year to both Steps.


Last edited by Macrolide; 09-22-2015 at 04:05 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-22-2015
USMLE Forums Scout
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 39
Threads: 12
Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Reputation: 23

Welcome to my world my friend
Shorter than yours but I myself decided to take the usmle 10 years after graduation (2005). After that I did 6 years of surgery residency in my home country, 1 year as an attending and then came to America and did research for 2 years.
I started with step 2 CK after a recommendation from someone I trust, but I don't intend to get high scores just pass was enough for me. I think it might be a good decision if you have a clinical background, but still a risk.
I think the program you want depends on your goals, I would go with First aid and U world and fill the gaps with kaplan lecture if I were you. NBMEs are very important, practice tests decide the course of studying.
IF I learned anything from this website and my usmle experience that is everyone needs a different method, like personalized cancer therapy that is going to be done in future.
Your weaknesses are different than anyone else, find them.
Make First aid and world your anchor and then decide what are you going to use to support those based on your experience.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Macrolide (09-22-2015)
Old 09-25-2015
USMLE Forums Newbie
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 9
Threads: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 5 Posts
Reputation: 31
Default Yog 1995

Hi buddy, I am an ancient IMG, YOG 1995 and I would like to share my experience with you. Fortunately it has been a very successful journey: step 1: 244, step 2 cs pass in first attempt, step 2 ck 255.

First and foremost: it is plausible to succeed, even after two decades from graduation. Actually, we have advantage due to the professional experiences gathered.

My background: Internal Medicine in my home country, clinical experience in medical and neurological intensive care. Then a doctoral degree in Neurology in a recognized academic center in Europe, during the last 15 years in research basic and clinical. Currently clinical research in a Pharmaceutical.

Since I work full time in a very demanding position, my studies took place in the evening, 4-5 hours from 7 PM through midnight, weekends 8-10 hours each day.

For both step 1 and 2 ck I did the classroom anywhere courses from Kaplan. My strategy was to systematically go through all the Kaplan videos, sort of as a hobby in lieu of watching college football or march madness. Then the live online course.

Now here what in my mind is the most critical step: I started Q&A with Kaplan QBank early on answering in timed mode and then thoroughly studying every single answer. I used the Kaplan qbank, finished it and then did the UWorld qbank.

My backbone reference textbook was first aid for the usmle step 1 which I also used to make pencil notations in the margins about concepts from the qbanks. That gave me an edge during the last days when I reviewed my notes. Lots of concepts came back to my recent memory, was extremely helpful on exam day.

At first, it took me about 3-4 days to finish analysis of one 44-question long qbank block, down the road the process accelerated once I got familiar with concepts, it becomes a bit repetitive and it's about dissecting each concept into details. At the end I was able to take and review 2 qbank blocks on each weekend day (about 6 hours per block analysis).

For both step 1 and step 2ck I did not set a date for exam until I realized that the NBME was in pass range. My two cents: do not go to test day if you are not absolutely sure with hard evidence that you are in pass range i.e. at least two NBMEs in pass range, to your entire satisfaction.

Step 1 was my first exam, studied for about 11 months (in parallel to full time work) and scored 244. Step 2 ck: 8 months with cs in-between. 255.
CS: I took an online course from Kaplan and then a live course from Kaplan in the test center in Chicago. Test center: Philly. Don't believe conspiracy theories about Philly being IMG unfriendly, that's plain bull. Study systematically your case books, I used first aid for the usmle step 2 cs and the Kaplan case book.

My wife didn't divorce me and my kids seem to still love me, but this USMLE process has taken a toll. What helped me to survive: my family's support, you MUST have your spouse's / significant other's support, my wife was on the same boat and recognized the relevance of this. Remember to do exercise (I jogged daily), take time off with one day during the week without studies, I took Fridays in the afternoon off to spend time with my family.

Hope this helps. If you want further experiences, I will be glad to Skype.

Believe in yourself, trust your gathered experience. Be a freakin' Jedi man, use the force. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

Last edited by nervsyst; 09-25-2015 at 12:52 PM. Reason: added info about the qbanks that I used
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
bluethunder (09-29-2015), seniortaker (09-26-2015)


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DOC for Resistant TB wa87el USMLE Step 1 Forum 3 07-26-2014 11:31 PM
Doc S.J CK Experience doc s.j USMLE Step 2 CK Forum 25 03-21-2013 07:18 AM
how to work as doc in oz/nz? Nats General Topics Forum 3 03-06-2012 01:46 PM
DOC for GAD... sumedha USMLE Step 1 Forum 0 10-19-2011 01:41 AM
Want UW in Wordpad/DOC format MidoUSMLE USMLE Step 2 CK Forum 2 09-12-2011 01:05 AM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)