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 Thinking to start USMLEs decade  

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I need a sincere advise if it is a good idea to start preparing now. I did MBBS some million years ago, then did Master's in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and worked as research associate for a few years. Now I am married and we moved to the US (on work visa) and my husband is a surgical resident and we have a 15 month old baby.
While I have the path of PhD to strengthen my research field, I just can't bury the feeling of not being on the clinical side and I feel I will always have a void in me.
I had once attempted USMLE's within a year of passing out of medical school but I failed that attempt and was terribly disheartened.
Now I am here, all confused and lost. I'd have to start from scratch as it's been a while since I was last in touch with the basics. I am not sure what is the scope of getting residency given the history and time wasted.
I will be grateful for some insight and help.


If you can spare at least 6hrs a day for the next 6 months, go for it!!Start with Step 1 and use Kaplan lectures notes with the use of videos to help you get updated. Use Goljan Pathology too and use a question bank. Paying for more than 6 months for USMLE WORLD is cheap and the best one to practice questions.

Then preparing for CK should easier and with 4 to 5 months, you should be ready to do CK.

Go for it!!


If you can not let go like most of us, me too grad long ago most of us then better do it now than 5 or 10 yr later.

Young baby best time to study.
Don't assumes the older the child the better you can study . The reverse... now they listen well , not much activities... and also nap day time ... when older more school plus extra acivities so no time.
I learnt with my own experinces but for me no one around and couldnot effort day care or like to have own family value for the child to grow up so ... anyway ......... you have husband may have connection for ur observer, u have ur all post grad as Master in med field so and it will help u in st 1 biostat too may be ... if u cannot sleep peacfully grinnot doing clinical pl go for it asap.nod

But choose right materials to study and ....... oh 6 hr a day 6 mo not enough especially like us grad a whiel, nee dscor ehigh and basics now changing alot even last few yrs ago and clinical 4 mo depends but 5 to 6 mo clinical for safe side and if have good clinical b4 even though lots clinical changing and not same trends steps liek UK or Euroup or rest of teh world approach in USA ... plus now exm is all 3 steps over laps ... though each st tested more on main st 1 for 1, 2 for 2, 3 for 3 but it's mix up starting so ... later might more mix up so study well in 2 yr ,worst case 3 yr then go for it .
u can push for 1.5 yr for all but study 8 hr at least and 10 hr when v close by with kap LN , video or class rm anywhere online ... kap now 20 % off this mo [ , u can deposit 500 for each step including CS 5 d then start with st 1. Try to catch next st 1 class rm anywhere st 1 then st 2 class rm anywhere ... then CS b4 ck or after.

CS to get date is key so get date 3 mo or 4 mo b4 starting study in case with child u may not do 10 hr CS with sp till last 2 month so ....... pm me if need any.

I am not kap advertiser, just it's best a must we need for and if go for live on line class rm anywhere , u stay hoem and study ... also best tecaher they give u but live to class ... u waste time commute and they do not usually have best teacher I heard.

Nothing to loose except money if u count it do not sit home as mom, sit at hoem a smom and studying for usmle .

All the best and welcome to north america and congratulation for the baby ur husband surgical resident is v v hard to get unless USA grad, but possible..... seen frds IMG get surgery to ortho residency even .

But if you think it's waste of time , u sit and think u like to upgrade ur research to PhD or u like to come back to clinical [ keep in mind residency is v competitive and would be more and more but have faith , I do . Let say no residency spot tehn ECFMG will give you apply and get research jobs most clinical related ] ... which way u r ok in 5 or 10 yr .

If thinking tryig exm is time wasted that ur call, it take stiem for st 1 ... 1 yr or 10 mo if u study intensely with rigt materials and Q banks. u can push 8 mo , 6 mo u better study 12 hr at least I think , better 13 , 14 hr .

Choose right materials latest one to start study asapnod
Some do buy older materials but not v v old one to study too.
You can pm me re if have q re .

I am still in st 1 , due to my personal, fm health, financil etc things also studying st 1 for on off for a while now newer materials to cover tough just few update needed so doing from start but not as new begginer for would be faster ... no need to look for kap Ln some topics not clear like 1st read long ago time.

Oh keep journal to motivate self , by friends here and keep track of ur study journey.

GL nod


Thank you, for the motivation and detailed reply.
So both of you recommend Kaplan lecture notes (books) and Kaplan videos, and USMLE WORLD for step 1, goljan pathology book and lectures?
The online lectures and question banks are pretty expensive sad aand even the Kaplan books are so high priced. Sigh.
I have to start from buying the books. I am LITERALLY starting from scratch.
Thank you , SHWE, for such a detailed reply and all the best for your exam too.


You are very welcome.
Thnx , all the best for ur exm too.

Buy used one will not be pricey and ask some used one from friends , ppl around.
Kap Q can be on sale up to 15 % off , more often 10% off .

If u will take on line kap class rm anywhere it comes ...with free e books & hard copy books, free video on demand prerecorded video , free QB for 6 mo plus free live on line every nights with best teachers not same as video teacher and free FB Qs, from the live teachers .
This is priciest course but if u will buy individual from kaplan this is better than total price.

As I said is now 20% off till March end which is highest discount in kaplan .. this 20 % off comes few times a yr like March then yr end Nov or Dec. Odd time in Jun , July but may be less off instead of 20 % off or 20% off, and can be 15 % off .
But if u r AMA member all kaplan 30% off .

Let me send u more info in pm and GL nod

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