- Business

Understanding the Different Steps of the USMLE

If you’re interested in going to medical school, you’ve likely heard of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. You will take the test in three different steps at separate points in your medical education, and it’s helpful to understand the difference in each part. Here is what happens in each step and when in your schooling you will take them. 

Step 1

Step 1 is taken over one day and is typically about eight hours long. You will most likely take this at the end of your second year of medical school. It’s a multiple-choice quiz, and some of the topics covered are:

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Nutrition
  • Genetics

The first step differs from the other two in that it focuses mainly on how well you do academically instead of clinically. 

Step 2

The USMLE Step 2 CK is a two-day process that consists of both a multiple-choice exam and a clinical skills assessment. You will take this test during your fourth year of medical school. It covers:

  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Internal medicine
  • Surgery

During the clinical portion of the exam, you will examine and diagnose an actor posing as a patient. Even though you’ll be dealing with an actor, you’ll still be expected to act the exact same way you would with a patient, so you will want to practice ahead of time to avoid any testing jitters that might pop up. 

Step 3

Like step 2, step 3 is a two-day process comprised of multiple-choice questions and a clinical skills test. This test happens after your first year of residency and is your final test to determine whether or not you are ready to practice medicine without supervision. This test focuses on diagnosing and treating patients and is usually done through a computer simulation of different patients and their needs. 

About Ricardo Laverriere

Read All Posts By Ricardo Laverriere