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Old 11-20-2010
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Planning Hello and some advice please :)

Hello everyone

I just joined this forum yesterday and this is my first post. Thank you athman for deciding to share you story, I'm sure it'll be quite a help for those like me aiming to score a residency.

Now, I need some advice regarding how I should prep myself & schedule for the exam. I am a medical student in Chittagong, Bangladesh going to start my 3rd year coming January. Our course (MBBS) is divided into 3 phases: (i) 1 and 1/2 yrs pre‐clinical; when we study Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, (ii) 2 yrs para‐clinical; when we study Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Forensic Medicine and Community Medicine(which partly covers behavioral science), and finally (iii) 1 and 1/2 years clinical; when we go through Medicine, Surgery and Obs. & Gynae. At the end of each phase we sit a 'professional exam' and I've just passed my first one. I plan to take the Step I around December 2012 after completing the second professional exam which will be over by Aug‐Sep 2012. I will have finished most of the fields tested in Step I although may not be all and in enough detail. I know that we haven't been taught Physiology in enough detail and I was particularly weak in Biochemistry & Genetics. I wish to study my second phase subjects in a way more oriented towards the USMLE so hopefully I wont have much deficit in those subjects. Now my question is if I take the exam at the end of Dec '12 after completing my 2nd prof in end of Aug/beginning of Sep, will about 3 months of time be enough to prepare for the Step I? I will still have my final phase classes & wards but I can afford to slack a little for the first 3‐4 months (Oct‐Dec '12) and concentrate on USMLE but I've to be serious from '13 so I don't know whether it would be wise to delay the Step I to a later date in '13. I will be graduating in Jan '14 soonafter which I plan to take my Step 2 CK before getting busy with my internship, the schedule of which wont allow me to study much. After my internship I wish to make a trip to US to Step 2 CS and get some US clinical experience. So delaying both Step I and II CK till after graduation or taking all three parts after internship might not be the right thing either.

I am unsure whether the tentative plans I have made regarding the USMLE are appropriate or not. So could someone be kind enough as to what would be the best path for me to take given my circumstances and if my current plan is okay, how should I be studying the next few years (esp for Path, Pharma & Micro and whether I should be revising Ana, Physio & Biochem in between). I know the post is really long and it might be a bore to read the whole of it but I would very much appreciate any words of advice, suggestions or tips.

Thank you in advance
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