Ukranian IMG's struggle EXPERIENCE

Ukranian IMG’s struggle EXPERIENCE

Hey guys,
I have been waiting for this day for a long time now. I will try to be as honest as much as I can with
this message.
I am a graduate from a med-school in Ukraine. I took 2 years to clear this exam. Yeah that’s a long
time but I had few disturbances and other things to take care of in between but I will still count
that as the time I have taken to give the exam cause I graduated in 2011 and have passed the
exam in 2013 and that is what it will be looked as by everyone.
My knowledge of medicine was zero. I did not know what beta-blockers was, I did not know what
sympathetic and para-sympathetic systems meant, I did not know what renin or hormones were –
basically I had no medical knowledge when I walked out of my med-school with my degree. Why? I
blame no one but myself. Sure conditions there are harder to study but if a person really wants to
study they can no matter what happens. So I will not blame my med-school or Ukraine for my lack
of knowledge.
From Ukraine I went to the US and stayed at my sisters place (luckily I have family that were going
to support me).
For 7-9 months I did videos and notes (basically building vocabulary). I did Najeeb videos (very
good for building basics but very long). I primarily focused on Kaplan videos and notes.
Then I started doing uworld questions (untimed, subject wise) which i think was my biggest
mistake/cause for taking so long. Because my knowledge then wasn’t strong enough to tackle
MCQs. I should have done FA or DIT or Pathoma.
So I did one round of uworld and kaplan q bank – that took me a hell of a lot of time. I wouldn’t
say wasted but it wasn’t the most ideal way to study at that stage.
I did a bunch of NBMEs in between (will post scores later). I was still very disappointed with my
scores, then I found DIT and pathoma. If I could go back and do something I think I would have
done DIT and pathoma again to consolidate my knowledge which would have helped me
understand the MCQs better.
My uworld scores (random, timed) gradually improved from 30’s to 40’s to 50’s to 60’s and
sometimes hit 70’s as well – I became quite confident at that time that I can do something worthy
in the exam.
July 31st was the last date of my EXTENDED eligibility period and that was like the only session
available in that one week time in that prometric center and it had been 3 years since I went back
home (which is India) so it was like all factors were pointing to me just going for it and seeing what
happens and I’m glad I did.
I have a problem with reading. I cant just sit and read a book like that. So doing FA for me was
next to impossible which is why DIT and pathoma helped immensely.
There were plenty of days/weeks even months ill say I tried reading FA so that I could finish it and
give a test but I never managed to finish the book and my test scores were awful so that was a
real downer – so if someone wants to take something away from this – my message would be –
figure out what works for you and study accordingly cause fitting into other peoples method is
(maybe possible) but not worth it, and it will make you feel more content if you do it your way.
cause all the concepts are actually very interesting even if you dont like to read. there are still
interesting concepts about the human body which we will use for the rest of our lives My hope now is to study for the step2 exams and finish them by august and apply for residency.
I’m not aiming for any of the high end fields. In fact the exact opposite. I always was very
interested in sports so ideally I would like to do sports medicine but I shall take each challenge as
it comes.
NBME 5 —–15th February——300/175
NBME 6 ——2nd March——260/165
UWSA 2 ——-15th March —— 440/204
NBME 11 —— 26th March ——340/184
UWSA 1 ——– 30th March —— ?/194
NBME 15 ——–15th July ——- 330/182
NBME 13 ——– 22nd July ——-380/193
Step 1 score —– 31st July —– 198
Again it was very risky to give it with those scores but I had tremendous amount of help from
many people in this forum but especially from pawan malchandani. he gave me a lot of
confidence in the end and some guidance which i think was key in getting me a passing score.
I shall work as hard as possible now for the next exams and hopefully I match into a residency
a big thank you to the moderators of this forum, i learnt a great deal from this forum even if it was
opening it randomly and reading a question posted by someone. that could have possibly helped
me in some question.
So good luck to everyone preparing for this exam and congrats to everyone who are done with it.
I dont really have a punch line to end my long message with but ill give it a shot – Man plans and
God laughs, but if man works God rewards.