https://crushtheusmleexam.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PMP4.png 800 800 James Edge https://crushtheusmleexam.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Crush-The-USMLE-Logo-300x120.png James Edge2018-08-23 22:50:432018-01-14 13:12:01USMLE Exams: Myths, Facts and Strategies for Overcoming Failures
Any medical student applying for residency programs dreads the idea of failing the USMLE exam, believing there’s no way to overcome this failure and be considered for interviews. However, it isn’t really the end of the world, and there’s a lot you can still do for USMLE success. Let’s decode some common myths about the USMLE, and look at some strategies for residency applications with multiple attempts.
Common USMLE Myths vs. the TruthHere are a couple of myths about USMLE exams:
- USMLE Attempts – There’s a wide-ranging myth that you will not get interviews from residency programs in the U.S. with multiple USMLE attempts. Many residency candidates believe this means the end of their medical career, before it even starts!
- Old/International Graduates – Another common myth is that older medical graduates, especially International Medical Graduates or IMGs, cannot score well in the USMLE exams or get residency in any U.S. residency programs.
- Work Hard on Other Steps – Failing at one stage of an exam often means working harder at future stages to show your commitment. If you failed USMLE Step 1, for instance, the USMLE Step 2 CK/CS offers you the chance to show your abilities. Scoring very well at this stage could help you get residency.
- Check State Restrictions – In some states, you are only allowed a limited number of attempts at the USMLE exams. Make sure that you’re not applying for programs in states where your money and time will be wasted due to multiple attempts, and check this list carefully for compatible states.
- Check Program Restrictions – Along with checking whether there any attempt limits apply in each state, also check whether the residency program in question imposes its own limit for qualification. There are many programs that interview candidates with multiple attempts, so look for these instead.
- Tell Programs Your Story – If you’ve had a USMLE failure before passing, use this as an opportunity to show residency programs how you handle setbacks. Sharing the story in your Personal Statement proves that you can take responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them, which is important to programs.
- Build a Strong Application – Make sure that your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application, CV and Personal Statement are strong, well-written and error-free. They also need to be specific to the specialty you’ve chosen, with recent Letters of Recommendation from your clinical experience in the U.S.
- Take the Step 3 Exam – Consider taking the USMLE Step 3 exam if you have multiple attempts that raise questions or concerns with residency programs. Make sure that you’re completely prepared for the test, though. Multiple attempts combined with a Step 3 failure will be worse than multiple USMLE attempts alone.