Matriculation in OUM qualifies you to sit for the three-part United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). Students must pass these examinations in order to become a licensed physician. Step 1 is taken between the completion of preclinical courses and the start of clinical rotations to ensure that students have a working knowledge of the basic sciences before entering clinical training to begin working with patients. Most US teaching hospitals require students to have passed USMLE Step 1 before beginning clinical clerkships.
The two-part Step 2 examinations also feature a clinical skills assessment, usually taken upon completion of core rotations. Passage of these exams ensures that the student has the necessary clinical knowledge and patient care skills to begin an internship or residency program under the supervision of an attending physician. At OUM, passage of Step 1 and Step 2 are graduation requirements for students who plan to practice in the US.
To help its students excel on the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams, OUM academic advisors begin familiarizing students with valuable exam preparation early in their preclinical study. Advisors make available to students a variety of resources, including summaries that bring together elements from the first 12 modules, study aids, exam-taking strategies, and USMLE Step 1 practice questions. There are also many good outside review courses available and the school’s academic advisors work with interested students to identify the one most appropriate for their learning styles.
The Step 3 examination is given as students finish their first year of residency, to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills needed to practice medicine independently. For students of non-US medical schools, the ECFMG facilitates the USMLE Step 3 exam in a location and time arranged directly with the student. For more information about the USMLE, visit www.usmle.organd/or www.ecfmg.org.
Since each US state is responsible for licensing its own physicians, prospective students should check with their state medical board or other physician licensing authority to ensure that they will meet requirements. For more information, visit the Federation of State Medical Boards website at www.fsmb.org.