Podcast Episodes

Podcast 50: USMLE with Dr. Joel Ramirez

In this episode, Dr. Joel Ramirez, USMLE Tutoring Director at MedSchoolCoach, joins Dr. Renee Marinelli. He is here to talk about USMLE for the first time on the podcast and explains why this set of exams is so important.

[00:58] What the USMLE is.

It is a multi-step exam that is taken throughout medical school. Three of the exams are taken during medical school, and one is taken at the end of the first year of residency.

[2:47] Why students should care about these exams.

Three of the four exams are graded on a number scale, and that number will go onto your residency application. One way for program directors to weed applicants out is to look at the percentiles. It’s important to excel at the USMLE so that your numbers don’t hold you back.

[5:24] Taking the exam multiple times.

If you do not receive a passing score, you can retake the exam. However, if you receive a passing score, you cannot retake it. If you pass by one point, that is the score you’re stuck with.

[6:37] The importance of each USMLE exam.

Step one is slightly more important, but for a lot of residency programs, they will not rank you unless you have a step two (clinical knowledge) score. Dr. Ramirez believes step two is more important than your personal statement.

[8:33] Preparing for the USMLE.

The timeline that the exams are given out can be different between schools, so the first step if to figure out what it is at yours. Still, the most important thing for a new medical student is learning medicine. Six months before the exam, you should be thinking about what resources you will use to study.

[12:05] Tutoring with MedSchoolCoach.

The most valuable thing about tutoring is that it’s a one-on-one, individual experience. There are a lot of resources for step one, and not all of them are good. Our team has worked with a lot of students, so they know what works and what doesn’t.

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