After you graduate from medical school, you may think that you have left the United States Medical Licensing Exam in the rearview mirror; however, there is still one more USMLE step to pass. This is called Step 3. Most young doctors take Step 3 sometime during their intern year. Sure, resident pay isn’t great; however, many residency programs will help you cover the cost of Step 3 as long as you take it in a timely manner. As you prepare for Step 3, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
Schedule the Date Carefully
Unlike Steps 1 and 2, you aren’t going to be given any additional time off from work to prepare for Step 3. Therefore, you need to take Step 3 during a lighter month of your residency. For example, while you are taking overnight call on an inpatient service, you aren’t going to have much time to study. On the other hand, you may have an elective month during your intern year during which you can take Step 3. Make sure you are well-rested before you take this crucial exam.
Take Practice Questions
Your study time for Step 3 limited because of your work schedule. With this in mind, make sure you use your time wisely. Step 3 is a comprehensive test of your medical knowledge and it may cover medical topics you don’t see as part of your training. For example, if you work in pediatrics, you won’t see many cases involving internal medicine. Take practice questions from a USMLE program Chicago IL to make sure that you are truly ready for the test.
Pass Step 3
As a resident, your time is valuable. You don’t want to take this test more than once. By preparing early, you will maximize your chances of passing on your first attempt.