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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys

I am a UK graduate in my 2nd year of Neurosurgical training. I graduated over 5 years ago but now need to move to US with my family!!!!

I gather i need to do USMLE and have done some research on it. I wonder if you could help me. My resources are KAPLAN lecture notes and the videos, First Aid, KAPLAN QBank and recently I have come across UWORLD.

First of all I want to do all my prep whilst I am working which means I can do maximum of 3-4 hours a day with exception of the weekends that I am not working.
I can really use your experience and knowledge of the US system in order to prepare adequately. Of course I want to continue Neurosurgery which I think means having to score as high as possible in the exams.

Could you guys help me with this massive step that I am about to take? What sort of prep do I need?How long? Is my goal realistic?
 

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Hi Guys

I am a UK graduate in my 2nd year of Neurosurgical training. I graduated over 5 years ago but now need to move to US with my family!!!!

I gather i need to do USMLE and have done some research on it. I wonder if you could help me. My resources are KAPLAN lecture notes and the videos, First Aid, KAPLAN QBank and recently I have come across UWORLD.

First of all I want to do all my prep whilst I am working which means I can do maximum of 3-4 hours a day with exception of the weekends that I am not working.
I can really use your experience and knowledge of the US system in order to prepare adequately. Of course I want to continue Neurosurgery which I think means having to score as high as possible in the exams.

Could you guys help me with this massive step that I am about to take? What sort of prep do I need?How long? Is my goal realistic?
Hey there!

You are on the right track of having your USMLE's out of the way.
You are completely right about having top scores, without them neurosurgery is a dream. The preparation for this exam depends solely on you and how you manage the material. Studying 3-4 hours a day will not get you there in few months, you need to try to dedicate more time to it, I would say at least 10-12. You will know you are ready via practice mock exams (UWorld, NBME). For Step 1 there is a whole section on this forum, you should read what people say there and many of them that score well share their preparatory experience. It may be useful. As for books, Kaplan is great for Step 1. Pathoma, high yield pathology, clinical microbiology made ridiculously simple, DIT and etc are other materials used, however, usually towards the second half of the preparation.

To be honest, surgical residencies and especially neurosurgery are quite competitive, its tough for US grads to get in, since its a very narrow specialty with very few training places. Having UK training can be a great plus, however, I don't know how they look at it in US.

Now, your goal is realistic, but unfortunately is very tough and you would have to work your butt off with the scores, US experience (preferably official rotations/electives) and convincing the programs that you are well adapted and deserve a place in their program. I have also noticed a general trend of good amount of research and publications in the surgical residencies. Have a look here on page 135, you can see the average scores, number of applicants and etc for last years match. http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Charting-Outcomes-2014-Final.pdf

Dont hesitate to ask.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you

Thank you for your detailed and a very helpful comment here. I gather 5 year cut-off from graduation is a negative point that I have against me but I am willing to give it a go regardless.
I have done my research and comments like yours are very useful. Realistically with a full time job 12 hours is not a possibility but 5-6 hours during the week and 10-12 during the weekends that I am not working with a consideration of work time reduction during my current research post will be the plan.

I have now got Goljan, Pathoma, Kaplan, Qbanks, DIT, BRS physio, kaplan lecture notes and first aid.
It is now time to start.
Please let me know if you would add any other sources to the above. The aim will be 250+ otherwise I will not follow it any further.

Many thanks for your kind help

Ardalan
 
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