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USMLE Guide - Part 1

Part 1: An international medical graduate’s journey from med school to US residency (I was on Visa)

I graduated from OBGYN residency exactly 4 years ago. Lifelong studying, sacrifices and struggles finally rewarded. It was a long road especially because I was an international medical graduate (IMG). After finishing medical school in Pakistan, I married and came to US. After a few months of break, I started my preparation for this beast of an exam I had come to fear, USMLE step 1.


The fear of USMLE was greater than the exam itself. It used to paralyze me. I would start to study but end up doing everything but study. I have previously talked about my struggle with ADD in med school. USMLE was no different. I had the same problem. I would spend hours and days on USMLE forums like prep4usmle trying to find study partners. I studied with 2-3 with one being my most steady partner who was always on my a** and really pushed me to study.


Total time: 4-6 months

Study Materials:

  • Kaplan series books and lectures for all subjects except pathology

  • Goljan: Pathology book and lectures (OR Pathoma)

  • First Aid Step 1

  • USMLE world question bank

BONUS: @ dr.gohari USMLE step 1 review (excellent for mnemonics/diagrams)

Study Technique:

  • Kaplan series books reading x 1 thoroughly with lecture series with attention to understanding basic concepts

  • Kaplan reading x 2 with attention to memorization

  • Kaplan reading x 3 for revision

Do USMLEWorld a couple times during your final and 3rd read while taking down notes in your first aid.

  • Read First aid x 2-3

  • Take the NBME mock exams

  • Take the exam! (8 hours of sleep prior!)


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