IGM 20 yrs from graduation passed!

5/17/2012 9:54:36 PM
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


5/18/2012 12:57:21 AM
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


5/18/2012 1:01:39 AM
Hello Elina,
Congratulations!!! I'm old IMG too, graduated 12 years ago. Took CK last year passed and getting ready for Step 1. It's hard and seems that it never going to end. I really like your post.
Where are you from?
Good luck
All the best


5/18/2012 10:37:10 AM
Hi,

I am from Finland and happy to give advice if you need.

Best wishes,
Elina


5/22/2012 8:37:58 PM
Can i have ur email or skype. my skype id is user_109. I need some advice. I took step 2 ck and i am starting with my step 1. I graduated 4 years back.


5/23/2012 7:23:42 AM
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


5/23/2012 7:26:11 AM
hi, thanks for the post, very encouraging. I am an IMG that graduated 7yrs ago and preparing for step 1. i would like to know how u went about getting a research job cos i am interested in that.


6/21/2012 12:12:04 AM
Hi Elina,
First of all please accept my hearty congratulations on your success! I am also an old IMG graduated about 18 years back and I am so happy to pass my Step 1 in 1st attempt with a score of 203!! Now I am preparing for my Step 2 CK which I am thinking of taking after 3 months. It's so good to know that you are already working full time in research. For me I am not working now, but I am also thinking of joining any research for the time being. Can you please give me some hints regarding this! You also said that you already have a job from September in a clinic and you don't need high scores! Wow!!! How was that possible? I will be very happy if you could share some of your thoughts regarding this matter too.
Good luck for your remaining Steps!!

Shah


6/21/2012 1:37:59 PM
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


Thank you very much Elina for your thoughts!!!
Very much encouraging and supporting.


11/26/2012 6:38:46 PM
Elina,

Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations for this achievement. Like you, I am an old IMG, still thinking to take the courage and make the commitment to start studying for the STEPs. I graduated in 1987 and I moved here for family reasons 7 years ago. I needed to get a joob as soon as I came to this country and the fastest way was to became an RN. I completed a 2 years program and got my RN license. Currently working as a nurse but from time to time I think to pursue my dreams and got my MD license here. I was practicicing medicine as a general practitioner in my country. I don't have any specialty. I have heard that we as OLD IMGs don't have any chances to get interviews for entering in a residencty program. is that true, that it is impossible for us to even dream to became MD licensed in the US? I miss so mych my practice as a physician. Please any advice, it';s greatly appreciated.
Congratulations again, happy for you.


11/27/2012 1:09:58 AM
4mfdam wrote:
hi iam also IMG as u said the best way is RN to get settled please let me know how to do RN. some body said we can give directly the NCLEX exam is that right or anything elase we haave to do please let me know thanks

Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations for this achievement. Like you, I am an old IMG, still thinking to take the courage and make the commitment to start studying for the STEPs. I graduated in 1987 and I moved here for family reasons 7 years ago. I needed to get a joob as soon as I came to this country and the fastest way was to became an RN. I completed a 2 years program and got my RN license. Currently working as a nurse but from time to time I think to pursue my dreams and got my MD license here. I was practicicing medicine as a general practitioner in my country. I don't have any specialty. I have heard that we as OLD IMGs don't have any chances to get interviews for entering in a residencty program. is that true, that it is impossible for us to even dream to became MD licensed in the US? I miss so mych my practice as a physician. Please any advice, it';s greatly appreciated.
Congratulations again, happy for you.


11/27/2012 2:04:08 PM
[quote=Elina]Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

thanks a lot for guidance
edited by drnawazish on 11/27/2012


11/29/2012 10:20:48 PM
wow amazing!!! i really loved reading ur post ...unbelievable wid 2 kids wow...
i am a fresh graduate and strtd prep last yr and now have a kid 4 months Mashallah my exam is in feb 2013 after reading this seriously my cnfidence buildup that yes i can do this...
thanks u so much


12/10/2012 12:08:33 PM
Hi everyone,

I posted this email when I had passed step 1. This was May 2012. I have now passed all the steps and promised myself that when I have passed all steps, I will write once more. I took my Step 2CK first time at the end of September and got results in October: I scored 239, passed (same week I submitted and NIH grant did not get funded . I did my Kaplan books once, UWorld questions once all of them and all the incorrect ones second time (or as many times I got them wrong, so that at the end I had no incorrect question). Again like for step 1, the question back was the most important source for me. I studied about 3 months for step 3. While waiting for the 2CK results I decided to do step 2CS, for which I studied only about 3 weeks. It was difficult to find a spot free to do the exam so I signed for email alerts for cancelations and finally got date in mid October. If you want earlier time slot than the calender gives you,(orginally I got first free slot in January 2013!) sign for email alert and when you get email there is availability, RUSH to your computer because they go in minutes. I failed 5 times to get the slot but finally succeeded. It was a bit too early after 2CK, but it forced me to keep going with fresh information in my mind still.

The 2CK was difficult for me mainly in patient note section because I never felt 10 mins was enough amnd I am slow type writer and shortnings in English are not familiar to me yet. I studied some of them but under pressure you tend to forget them. Cases were straight forward and I got best scores from English and Interpersonal skills. I was not suprised that my data gathering was not as good, but I knew that I might be able to compensate the my not so great patient notes with my patient interviews. The whole 2 CS feels really difficult to prepare for and I did go through the general status making (I had forgetten some details after being at home in Finland an ENT for 15 years) and cases from USMLE with my husband and my kids as patients. I did not have an outsider as a practise patient. It all worked out but I was not sure until last week when I got the results.

I had had few questions about research positions. I can advice you to be in touch with professors in the field you are interested in working and ask for possibilities to work with them. I had established research collaborations already when I came here, so I have tried to expand that and get funded. It is not easy. Current economical situation is not easy for getting funded or research positions, unfortunately. Therefore I would recommend to get your steps done and get to the clinic. There is always need for physicians.

Again, I will say that it is duable and stay focused, don't give up even if you fail, as I did in my first step 1 test. After that I got them all in the first try. It has taken me 16 months. Now I start to prepare for step 3. But be clear why you want to do this, it might not be for everyone. I did not realize how hard it is until I was in there and did not want to give up. It takes a toll on you and your whole family, for a long time. My children lost their mom for months - when ever I had any free time after work I read and did questions.

All the best for you who are reading this which ever step you are doing. I will come back when I have passed my step 3 to share that experince.

Elina


12/11/2012 6:54:59 AM
congrats elina...........its really great achievements


12/15/2012 9:08:08 AM
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I posted this email when I had passed step 1. This was May 2012. I have now passed all the steps and promised myself that when I have passed all steps, I will write once more. I took my Step 2CK first time at the end of September and got results in October: I scored 239, passed (same week I submitted and NIH grant did not get funded . I did my Kaplan books once, UWorld questions once all of them and all the incorrect ones second time (or as many times I got them wrong, so that at the end I had no incorrect question). Again like for step 1, the question back was the most important source for me. I studied about 3 months for step 3. While waiting for the 2CK results I decided to do step 2CS, for which I studied only about 3 weeks. It was difficult to find a spot free to do the exam so I signed for email alerts for cancelations and finally got date in mid October. If you want earlier time slot than the calender gives you,(orginally I got first free slot in January 2013!) sign for email alert and when you get email there is availability, RUSH to your computer because they go in minutes. I failed 5 times to get the slot but finally succeeded. It was a bit too early after 2CK, but it forced me to keep going with fresh information in my mind still.

The 2CK was difficult for me mainly in patient note section because I never felt 10 mins was enough amnd I am slow type writer and shortnings in English are not familiar to me yet. I studied some of them but under pressure you tend to forget them. Cases were straight forward and I got best scores from English and Interpersonal skills. I was not suprised that my data gathering was not as good, but I knew that I might be able to compensate the my not so great patient notes with my patient interviews. The whole 2 CS feels really difficult to prepare for and I did go through the general status making (I had forgetten some details after being at home in Finland an ENT for 15 years) and cases from USMLE with my husband and my kids as patients. I did not have an outsider as a practise patient. It all worked out but I was not sure until last week when I got the results.

I had had few questions about research positions. I can advice you to be in touch with professors in the field you are interested in working and ask for possibilities to work with them. I had established research collaborations already when I came here, so I have tried to expand that and get funded. It is not easy. Current economical situation is not easy for getting funded or research positions, unfortunately. Therefore I would recommend to get your steps done and get to the clinic. There is always need for physicians.

Again, I will say that it is duable and stay focused, don't give up even if you fail, as I did in my first step 1 test. After that I got them all in the first try. It has taken me 16 months. Now I start to prepare for step 3. But be clear why you want to do this, it might not be for everyone. I did not realize how hard it is until I was in there and did not want to give up. It takes a toll on you and your whole family, for a long time. My children lost their mom for months - when ever I had any free time after work I read and did questions.

All the best for you who are reading this which ever step you are doing. I will come back when I have passed my step 3 to share that experince.

Elina


Big big congratulations to you and your whole family.. i'm also a mom and graduate 6 yrs back.. You've inspired me a lot and keep me doing.. thank you so much for giving your time posting here, which encourage us all..
congrats!!


12/15/2012 2:19:19 PM
AnSp12008600 wrote:
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


12/15/2012 2:21:52 PM
Thank you..it means I am in the right direction. Using Kaplan video plus UW ply FA.


12/19/2012 1:36:12 PM
Hi elina! What a very inspiring story! Just took my exam yesterday...and I'm so worried as to what the result will be...I too graduated just 5 years back and i already finished OB residency here in my country...and same as you, due to family reasons I have to move to the US...just had a baby last october too. I started reviewing with kaplan last april, but stopped because I had to give birth and started FA and UWorld a few weeks before my exam...I hope and pray that I pass. The exam is really tough and confusing at times. I'll just have to wait after 3 weeks. God bless to everyone who'll be taking their exam soon!


2/6/2013 3:44:45 PM
Elina wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have been reading this forum last 9 months while preparing for my step 1. I want to share my experience, as an older IMG that had a long time from medical school and 20 years from graduation. Maybe this helps someone else to believe it is doable. Because it is!
I have been work as a specialist for 15 yrs in my own country and came to US for family reasons. I did want to get back to clinic but wondered if I can make it anymore, to go back to basic science and learn all the new things that have been discovered in past two decades. You can imagine there are few things! Having two children, full time research job and traveling husband did not help.
I started to read in August, on and off. I did the UW World questions twice and used it as a learning tool and read FA twice. The first read of FA was in many places really hard because I had no clue what they were talking about. Second read, after UW question bank, was much better, but still few things were unclear and I used Wikipedia. I had not imagined that it would be as hard and difficult and slow to read, and my test period was ending (I had thought I could read and learn quicker but work and family made things slower). I knew I was not quite ready but did my first attempt November but failed by 7 points (181). I was really disappointed but knew I got so close, I need to continue. I took the whole December break to get over the disappointment and decided after New Year that I start all over again. Did the same as previously (UW +FA) but bought also Kaplans to better connect things and get my basics covered. I did second attempt 26.4. and got results yesterday: 199, passed. Yes!!
I already had a job in the clinic to start this September so I don't need high scores. I will do the rest of the steps this summer.

My piece of advice:
1. Cover your basics from Kaplan lecture notes or other good review books. I should have started with that. FA+ UW might not be enough if you are older IMG and your basics are not strong
2. Use UW as a learning tool as well, not just for checking where you are. It is excellent and teaches things best I have seen in any other material. The problem is just to remember the details and connect them to cases. Kaplan helped me with that because you can actually read it as a story, not lits of things to remember like FA.
3. Understand what you study, don't try to just learn by heart, this is too big area for that. You need to be able to use your basic understanding with different question types from the same area in the test. They can ask the same thing in so many ways. When you have understood it, you can answer any question about it.
4. I used NMBE tests (6,7,11,12,13) to see where I was. Online, with the analysis of the result. Don't waste time trying to get offline versions and answers. It is not different from any UW session then. You need to simulate the real test situation and if you do it off line, you are not doing that.
5. Trust yourself that this is just a test and you can make it. Stay calm the test day. At my first attempt I panicked in the beginning because I had never done exam like this in my life and I was too going too slow. I took a break after the first 50 mins and was able to calmed myself. Second time around was much easier, I knew what was coming and how tired I will feel in the last session and how easy you can loose time trying to solve question you don't know. Guess and move on if you don't know. Mark it and come back, if you have time. Otherwise you loose those questions you know t. Stay focused and keep telling yourself you are doing good job and you can make it. It sounds stupid, but it did help me. I told myself that come on, you are intelligent person, you can make this, you have studied hard.

I wish everyone good luck and peace of mind in the process. It is hard but doable!

Elina


hi elina do you think KLN is enough with FA..


2/8/2013 7:57:33 PM
what is KLN?


2/28/2013 11:30:08 AM
Hi everyone,

This will be my last post to these pages. If you read my first post 10 months ago I shared my experinec of passing step 1, then this fall I shared my experince with step 2 and now I want to share the Step 3 experience and overall road from being out of medical school 20 years, clinician who goes back to the basics. It has been tough but doable. So yesterday I got results from Step 3 that I took 3 weeks ago, passed! I will be applying for my medical license now and I thank everyone who has been active on this site and shared they experience. Step 3 is not run throught exam either and I read for it about 6 weeks 5-6 hrs a day. Practise the CCS and read your Master of the Boards well. I did UWorld question bank all 1300 questions and then all the incorret again. UWorld has been the single most important learning tool for me through Step 1-3 and I highly recommend it. I was asked if Kaplan Lecture notes are enough for step 1 and I would say no, at least not for me who had to start from scratch. They give good background but you need the detail level of FA to pass and understand the concepts. I would start with KLN and then go to FA and question bank. I did that after I first failed step 1.
Try to take step 3 as soon as possible after passing step 2, because 2CK and 3 are very similar in question part. Cases you need to practise with the software, otherwise youa re totally lost. And if oone or two patient does not get better, don't worry, you can still ma eit. Step 3 is 2 days test but doable.
It is over now!! I am SO relieved. Good luck for you all who read this!

Elina


2/28/2013 3:56:55 PM
Hi Elina, Congratulations!!! did you read the whole kaplan texts?


4/10/2013 12:46:21 PM
Hi, I need help. How can I get NBME tests in details?


4/10/2013 1:51:39 PM
congrats doc. what an inspirational post. thank you and best of luck.


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