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 The Third Ukraine Med Grad  

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I'm originally from India, but I graduated from Crimea State Medical University. I'm planning to take Step 1 by November 2004. I've just started preparation. It would be great to talk to someone who graduated from Ukraine or Russia to share and discus experiences and preperation. Oh, and I'm in the US in IL....anyone near by?
To the Admin: Thanks for this great web forum. :icon_salut:


Just want to say hi!

So humble of you to post your self-introduction in a new topic...
smiling face :-s


I also graduated from Ukraine.
Vinnitsa Medical University, class of 2001.
Nice to finally find a place where we have doctors from Ukraine...
I have already cleared step 1 and 2 and CSA. I would be more than happy to answer any questions that anyone might have...
I would also appreciate any advice or suggestions as to what to do after the ECFMG certification...


Hi VG,
Congratulations on compleeting your steps 1,2, & CSA. I have just started my prep for Step 1. Could you share your experience of taking step1? How did you prepare for it, the study materials you used, time spent per day, how many months? I'm reading the text books initially. Do you think it is usefull?
Good Luck with your prep for Step 3 and the Match.


Spasibo vrach!
Well, if you have just started preparing for step 1, just stick to Kaplan material (get the video course or the live lectures if you can if you feel that you can't really understand the notes). The text books will give you a lot of information and make you smart but Kaplan focuses only on passing the USMLE and that's all... there's not much info in the Kaplan notes that you don't need.
I took a long time preparing for step one due to many reasons but I would still say that a minimum of 6 months is required to prepare for step one. Don't use Kaplan pathology notes; use Goljan instead... and do as many questions as you can... any source (NMS, BRS, A&L... anything at all) and do Q-bank in the last month of your preparation.

and most important: Set a deadline, get a date for your exam, let the countdown begin and start studying (I did not do this initially and was not able to take the exam until I finally did this).

take care


:shock: Hello! My name is Natalie. I graduated from Ivano-Frankivsk Med Academy in 1999. In a few days I am going to take Step1 . If you VG could tell me how did you organized your last days before the exam. I'm pretty scared.
Tx a lot for the information.

P.S. What can you tell about biochemistry ? :roll:


Hi Natalie,
I wasn't really good with the step 1 subjects and my sole step was to pass. I studied biochemistry from Kaplan only and used this site for illustrations...
I would still suggest, stick to Kaplan... it is more than enough and if you find any conflicting info anywhere else, stick to Kaplan... you have to go thru the kaplan biochem a couple of times b4 it starts making any sense...

During the last month of my study, I focused mostly on Pathology and physiology. Honest advice, know your physiology really well (understand it!!!) and do Goljan pathology!!! and of course, questions!!!

another thing, if I could do anything different if I had to take step 1 again, I would concentrate a lot on Behavioural science and eidemiology/statistics... it boring and at times confusing, but it's definitely not hard and the easiest way to increase your score. I did this for step two and I got a much better score... trust me, it's worth it. I would rather do stats/epidemiology than immunology if I had to choose...

lemme know if you have any other questions...


P.S. last days... read Pathology (if you didn't read Goljan b4, don't touch it) and clear your physio concepts and brush up on pharma but spend more time doing questions.... if you don't have much time... do questions only. Q-bank is a must!!! (only timed mode!!!). Another thing that you absolutely must do is take a practice exam (kaplan simulated!!!) and stick to the time and everything... endurance is really the key!!!


:icon_study: Thank you VG very much . Your advice is very helpful . Good luck .


Thanks a lot for the advise VG. I have already scheduled Step1 for Sept-Nov period and will be starting Kaplan in June. Hopefully I'll have enough tiime. Once again thanks for the guidance, it is a real moral booster. Good Luck with your Step3 and match and keep us posted on how things are going.



Hi, VG
Congratulations!!!!!!! You did a great job!
Good to find somebody from the same country grin
I graduated form Crimean Med, I passed the Step1 and now preparing for the Step2, you mentioned Kaplan notes, can I buy them somewhere without signing up for the Kaplan course? I heard about Blueprints series for the Step2, do you know anything about that?... You are right about behavioral science, it was my weekest part on Step1 too sad , I'will study it harder for the step 2, can you advise some good book for that purpose, besides Kaplan? What were your scores? Which residency are you going to apply to? How long did it take for all three exams to pass? Actually I have a lot of questions if you could help, i'd really appreciate it smiling face
keep in touch..


well, first of all, you can get the kaplan notes from just about anywhere and at decent prices... don't worry about the editions coz nothing much changes in medicine or the USMLE "that" fast. Blueprints... well I have heard a lot of people talk about it but personally all I read was Kaplan notes for everything and that's it. Nothing else and I totally feel that it was more than enough, especially since my sole purpose was to pass the stupid exam and be over with it. I scored 83 with about 2-3 months of study and out of that, one month was very serious. If you are looking at 99, maybe you do need to study a lot more and read more books, but honestly, I wouldn't be able to give you the best advice on that.
I haven't taken Step 3 yet and neither have I started studying for it.
Residency... I'll take what I get (to be very honest)!
If you have any more questions, don't hesitate!!!



Hi, VG
Thank you for quick reply, I tried to find Kaplan notes on e-bay and amazon, but without sucess, so do you know where exactly I can try to buy them?
After readig a lot from this website I think I understand your wish to take any residency they offer you. My scores for step1 was not high 84, and i wanted to come back to my speciality here, but i realize that with my score ophtalmology is practically closed for me now. Too bad, I didn;t really realize how many factors they require for a good residency...
Do you have any US clinical experience? if you do, how did you get it?
I am working at UCSD now, but not in the medical feild, everywhere I went to ask for medical job ( any, like assistant, technitian, even observant) they politely denied, so I don't know how else person can find experience here....
what is your impression about CSA, did you prepared yourself, or took some courses, like Kaplan for 5 days? Is it very different from Ukrainian procedures to examine patient? What was your original speciality, I mean in Ukraine...
Looking forward for your reply! smiling face


well as far as Kaplan notes are concerned, I have friends who might be selling them...
as far as CSA is concerned, I took the Kaplan 5 day course. Although it is very expensive and the high cost is not really justified but it sure helped me pass... those 5 days were my only prep for CSA. The methods for examining are not really different but at the same time, the whole approach is quite different. Again, at Kaplan, they are not trying to make you good doctors or whatever... they focus only on passing the exam... so in the 5 days, they basically teach you what to do and what not to do in order to pass the exam... and that's the whole point! If you have the money, go for it, if not, find someone who has taken the course and have him teach you everything. The exam itself is not at all hard, almost impossible to fail...
Clinical experience? I have none and that is definitely a huge problem. It is the biggest hurdle in getting a residency and I have the same questions and problems as you have. It is basically a catch 22... that's all I can say!
My specialty in Ukraine... I just graduated from there (Vinnitsa) and then came here.
Lemme know if you have any more questions.


I see, many people here have the same problem...well it is tuff stuff - clinical experience here...
Yes, I probably will consider buying Kaplan notes, is this one book or several? How much they gonna cost together?
You can contact me on [email protected], I am not sure how often I will be able to check it here next month, I am going home for a month grin grin
are you applying for the mathch this year? Do you know anything about scrambles?
Well, thank you for keeping in touch and answering my quiestions!
see you........ smiling face


Hi Beefoxy,
Good to finally see someone from Simferopol on this site grin . :lol: This is awesome. I graduated in 2000. Am preparing for Step1. Was intially planning to take it in November, but had to postpone it to Jan for unforseen reasons. Congratulations on finishing off step1. U'r 1/4th of the way there. How was your experience of taking step1? When and where did you take it? Whic year did you graduate med school? I have a lot of Q's for you? You can e-mail me at [email protected]
Have a safe trip home and good luck for your step2.


Hi guys.. I am from Lviv, Ukraine.. want to prepare for USMLE.. looking for a study partner in Bay area, California.. anyone interested?


I have one querry.
Is Yalta Medical College recognized by WHo and ECFMG or not?

How many colleges in crimea are recognized by WHO and ECFMG?
Can students getting MBBS degree or equivalent from any of these colleges give USMLE?


Hi npk107,
There is no such school as the "Yalta Medical College" least as far as I know....I've lived near that place untill 2000. And it definetly is not listed as recognized in the ECFMG.
As for eligibility of "M.D"s from accredited schools in Ukraine, any graduate from one of these schools can sit for the USMLE. You can find a list by doing a country search by following this link in the ECFMG web site:
As far as Crimea is concerned, I know of only one Medical University there, and that is the Crimea State Medical University in Simferopol, and it is accrideted.
Fell free to ask if you have any further questions.



Understand that you graduated from Crimea State Medical University of Ukraine. My nephew from Malaysia is planning to study in the above mentioned university.

I have a few questions hope you can advice:

1) After graduated from Crimea State Medical Univesity, can you become a doctor in USA? What other exams you need to take to practice as a doctor? Similarly, can one practice as a doctor in European Union (EU) after graduation?

2) Can you tell me more about study in the above university? It is extremely difficut?

3) How is the living condition? Does it has good transportation, communication system? Contactable by using mobile phone?

Please provide me with as much information as possible cause I have no clue about Ukraine and its education system

Thanks in advance and appreciate your advice.


Hi Eunice,
Sorry that its taken me so long to repply. Haven't logged on in a while.
Q1. After graduating from CSMU one can become a doctor in any country they want to as long as they take and pass the licensing exams of that country. In the US one would have to tkae the USMLE exams. In UK, the PLAB.
Q2. The teaching and facilities at CSMU are good. I won't lie and tell you that they are excellent. It all depends on the individual. There are some really great professors. A lot of students tend to skip lectures (including me) :oops: But it is very usefull to attend them. Best option for your nephew would be to decide where he is going to practice medicine now itself, and keep the requirements of the licensing exam in mind (eg:USMLE) while doing the various concentrating on molecular biology, which isn't covered well.
Q3. Living conditions are pretty good. It's not comparable to the US though. Public transportation, Cell phones, and internet are highly accesible. It's a good place to study. All one needs is the desire to.
Hope this helps. If you have any further Q's you can e-mail me at [email protected]

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