What is USMLE? Overview, Guidance, & the BEST Resource I 2021

United States Medical Licensing Exam

The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) is a three-part computerized exam that is necessary for every student who holds the aim to practice medicine in the United States. Unlike any other theoretical exam, this one is really challenging. It thoroughly evaluates how well a physician will perform in clinical-case scenarios. It offers medical licensure to aspiring students based on their knowledge and skills that are critical for effective disease management and prevention.

Wondering where to get USMLE guidance from? We’ve got you covered. Before diving into this, it’s significant to know a little about each part.

The United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1

USMLE Step 1 is the first test in the series. It’s a one-day exam that lays great emphasis on a student’s ability to understand and apply the concepts and principles of Basic Medicine to practice. Usually, students sit for step 1 exam when in their second year of MBBS as it covers the subjects of the early years including:

  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Behavioral Sciences, &
  • Some other topics related to nutrition and aging

With that said, it is important for you to know that whatever the subject is, step 1 demands special attention to:

  1. Underlying disease mechanism
  2. Mode of therapy

Keeping these two points into consideration and planning your study schedule accordingly, you’re much likely to answer all the multiple-choice questions correctly and you can ace the exam in the first go.

How long is USMLE Step 1?

The United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1 is an 8-hour long test that contains 280 multiple choice questions at max. These 280 questions are split into 7 blocks, each having 40 questions and the time allotted for each block is 1 hour. This suggests you can spend no more than one minute and thirty seconds to answer each question.

USMLE Step 2

Step 2 is a 9-hour long test that comes in two parts. The first one is regarding clinical knowledge (CK) that checks a student’s competency and knowledge for clinical sciences such as gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, etc.

The second part (called clinical skills – CS) is more of a practical exam that determines how aptly a physician can demonstrate clinical skills in a patient-centered setting. 

USMLE Step 3

Step 3 is the last in the series which finally examines whether or not a student can integrate his/her medical skills in an unsupervised setting. In this final part, MCQs and computer simulations are included that need to be dealt with from a diagnostic and treatment point of view.

Of all three, step 1 seems to be the most difficult exam that often requires some extra help and support. For USMLE guidance, there are considerable resources available on the internet. But picking the right one is the key to achieving success and obtaining residency in the US.

Dr. Najeeb and USMLE

Based on my personal experience, I can say that Dr. Najeeb’s videos on USMLE serve the purpose of navigating you through this daunting exam. His in-depth explanations and hand-drawn illustrations make it a lot easier to understand the concepts of Basic and Clinical Medicine. 

He blends his expertise with the white-board methodology to deliver complex information in a simpler form that is super-easy to digest. I highly recommend Dr. Najeeb’s videos on USMLE to all international medical immigrants!