USMLE compared to UK exams

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chickenwing2291
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#1
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#1
For anyone with USMLE experience, how difficult is the curriculum compared to UK medical school ones and UK finals? What about compared to Oxbridge/Imperial and other science focused schools' curriculum? Are you at a disadvantage if there is not much focus on pre-clinical science at your medical school?
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Mr Optimist
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#2
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#2
From what I have seen, the people that have done the USMLE have said they were much harder than anything they came across in the UK medical schools. I remember one of medics here saying USMLE makes the UK medical school exams feel like primary school exams. I am sure he exaggerated, but the point was the UMSLE is much harder than what you will do in UK medical schools.

I have not started medical school yet but I am going to go over USMLE step 1 material (due to my own interests). From what I can see from step 1, it is very science based i.e they test the scientific basis for alot of what you do in the clinical years. Furthermore, the structure of the exams are different. For example, here in the UK they ask alot of "one step" questions, e.g what bacteria most commonly causes UTI? But if you look at the UMSLE, their exams require multiple steps to solve. For example, instead of telling you what the diagnoses is e.g UTI, they'll tell you the symptoms, you'll have to work out the diagnosis and then answer whatever question they asked.
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Fatima679
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#3
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#3
The USMLE is very hard and you need months of preparation for it. UK medical schools are a walk in the park.
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chickenwing2291
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#4
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I see.. so it seems a lot more difficult. I wonder how the ukmla will compare when it is introduced. But makes me glad there's harder materials out there should I need extra practice 👍 thanks!
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Mr Optimist
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#5
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(Original post by chickenwing2291)
I see.. so it seems a lot more difficult. I wonder how the ukmla will compare when it is introduced. But makes me glad there's harder materials out there should I need extra practice 👍 thanks!
Yes, I am also wondering how the UKMLA will compare. Are you a medical student? My advise is, start looking into the USMLE. the deeper you dive into that, the easier med school becomes. Just don't burn yourself out haha
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chickenwing2291
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I'm starting med school this year provided I get the A level grades (weirdly keen). I wanted to know a bit more about how the UK system compares to the US one as I find it odd that we don't have a set syllabus
(Original post by Mr Optimist)
Yes, I am also wondering how the UKMLA will compare. Are you a medical stud ent? My advise is, start looking into the USMLE. the deeper you dive into that, the easier med school becomes. Just don't burn yourself out haha
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Mr Optimist
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#7
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(Original post by chickenwing2291)
I'm starting med school this year provided I get the A level grades (weirdly keen). I wanted to know a bit more about how the UK system compares to the US one as I find it odd that we don't have a set syllabus
Oh I see. Then in that case just focus on acing your A-levels for now
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ecolier
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#8
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I have not done USMLE myself, but have been told the last part is post-grad exams level. So you have to revise using books for MRCP / MRCS / MRCOG / MRCPCH etc.

But then of course, to take the Step 3 of USMLE you have to have a medical degree already (even in the USA), so it is a post-grad exam in itself.

Don't ask me any more about USMLE because I don't know! Feel free to ask about MRCP / MRCS :laugh: because I have taken them.
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document35
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#9
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Would it be silly to consider moving to US for training because it is shorter. Might one be able to work as a consultant in the UK earlier via a shorter training path in the US?
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ecolier
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#10
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(Original post by document35)
Would it be silly to consider moving to US for training because it is shorter. Might one be able to work as a consultant in the UK earlier via a shorter training path in the US?
You are literally getting the worst of both worlds doing that.

People train in the UK and move elsewhere as a consultant because training in the UK is structured and the hours are reasonable. The pay may not be as good (relative to the US or Middle East) but after CCT you could potentially work in many places.

Training in the US is brutal, while you are paid more the hours you work will mean that per-hour you're probably paid the same.

This is not to mention the fact that the US-UK medical culture are very much different, so working in one place after another would lead to a culture shock I'm sure.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 year ago
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rasi637283
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#11
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#11
if i go to a med school in europe then take the ukmla or usmle will that basically make me able to practice/ get a job as a doctor in the uk or usa? plus i know the gmc would have to accept my diploma
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ecolier
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#12
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(Original post by rasi637283)
if i go to a med school in europe then take the ukmla or usmle will that basically make me able to practice/ get a job as a doctor in the uk or usa? plus i know the gmc would have to accept my diploma
UKMLA = for working in the UK, for all intents and purposes similar to PLAB currently. But UK graduates will also have to take the UKMLA in the future.

USMLE = for working in the US and matching to specialties. However as International Medical Grads you are severely disadvantaged. Virtually any one ahead of you in any competition and you're placed behind them - so no realistic chance of competitive specialty or competitive location, if you wanted to work in the US.

The GMC accepts a lot of medical schools, there is a list of med schools that they do not recognise: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-...-do-not-accept
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Democracy
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(Original post by document35)
Would it be silly to consider moving to US for training because it is shorter.
In a word: yes.
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document35
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Democracy)
In a word: yes.
Haha thanks.

I'm still trying to work out why exactly it should be ruled out completely. Is the main thing the lifestyle is bad for a couple of years? If I complete step 3 by the end of f2 and get the residency done in 4 years, I could be a consultant in almost half the time, right? This would give me more autonomy in lifestyle/moving back to UK or other countries, no?
I feel like I need to reread the earlier posts because I'm probably missing something obvious!
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rasi637283
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#15
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(Original post by ecolier)
UKMLA = for working in the UK, for all intents and purposes similar to PLAB currently. But UK graduates will also have to take the UKMLA in the future.

USMLE = for working in the US and matching to specialties. However as International Medical Grads you are severely disadvantaged. Virtually any one ahead of you in any competition and you're placed behind them - so no realistic chance of competitive specialty or competitive location, if you wanted to work in the US.

The GMC accepts a lot of medical schools, there is a list of med schools that they do not recognise: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-...-do-not-accept
thank you! so if i have my degree recognised and pass plab or ukmla in the future i can get a job in the uk as a doctor right?
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ecolier
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#16
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(Original post by document35)
...Is the main thing the lifestyle is bad for a couple of years?...
No. You just can't train in any specialty that's even slightly competitive. So it'll be family medicine or maybe psychiatry or something.

And don't even think that you can work anywhere near a big city.

I could be a consultant in almost half the time, right?
I don't know how long training is in the US, but the top grade certainly isn't called "consultant". I think it's called "attending".

This would give me more autonomy in lifestyle/moving back to UK or other countries, no?
I also don't know if the CCT-equivalent in the US is recognised in the UK by the GMC.

(Original post by rasi637283)
thank you! so if i have my degree recognised and pass plab or ukmla in the future i can get a job in the uk as a doctor right?
:yes: but my personal opinion is (if you can) study where you want to work.
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nollliee
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#17
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My understanding of the US system was that medicine or similar courses were very expensive? £38000/yr in the UK probably seems cheap to them. I am acquainted with several doctors in the USA and all of them didn't even begin studying medicine until after completing some seriously hardcore science degrees.
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paulkisho
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#18
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#18
What kind of resources should I use to consistently perform well in UK medical school?
I think someone said the more you dive into USMLE practice, the easier Uk medical school becomes... is this true?

Should I "fake" learn for the USMLE test to make my UK medicine course "easier"?
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ecolier
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#19
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(Original post by paulkisho)
What kind of resources should I use to consistently perform well in UK medical school?
The medical school should advise you on this - some apps you can use, some books to read etc.

Remember, all med schools have different curriculum and they teach differently (integrated vs traditional vs PBL).

I think someone said the more you dive into USMLE practice, the easier Uk medical school becomes... is this true?
No experience so can't answer. What does "dive in" mean? Remember as I said above, UK med schools are all different - one may teach anatomy in first year, the other may teach it in second year, the third may even teach as part of clinical rotations!

Should I "fake" learn for the USMLE test to make my UK medicine course "easier"?
Nope, only learn the USMLE unless if you have an intention of doing it! Students have been using MRCP books to prepare for medical finals, thinking that by preparing for what is over-and-above what you're supposed to learn, it'll fine. It's not.
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paulkisho
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#20
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#20
(Original post by ecolier)
The medical school should advise you on this - some apps you can use, some books to read etc.

Remember, all med schools have different curriculum and they teach differently (integrated vs traditional vs PBL).



No experience so can't answer. What does "dive in" mean? Remember as I said above, UK med schools are all different - one may teach anatomy in first year, the other may teach it in second year, the third may even teach as part of clinical rotations!



Nope, only learn the USMLE unless if you have an intention of doing it! Students have been using MRCP books to prepare for medical finals, thinking that by preparing for what is over-and-above what you're supposed to learn, it'll fine. It's not.
How did you get through med school?
When you were in uni what study method and resources did you use to (I presume) consistently do well?

What's your 2 cents on getting through UK med school?
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