Many Indian Doctors and Medical students dream about moving to the USA and starting practice there. It is not an easy task. But with the right information and hard work, Indian Doctors may immigrate to the USA and start Medical Practice there! In this article, you will be reading about the Medical Licensing examination- USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)- that Indian Doctors have to clear, in order to be considered eligible to carry out practice in the United States of America.
Before we move to the main point of the article, let me provide you some interesting facts and details about the immigration of Indian Doctors to the United States of America. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Harvard School of Public Health, the number of Indian Doctors moving out to the USA has increased considerable in the last 10 years. As of now, more Indian origin Doctors form more than 5% of the total number of American Physicians! Doctors who have graduated from top Medical Institutes in India (for example AIIMS), tend to move out to the USA in search of better pay packages, better working environment and a better standard of living!
Medical Licensing examination to work in the USA
For Indian Doctors to start practice in the USA, it is necessary for them to successfully clear a Medical Licensing examination. The name of the examination is- USMLE. USMLE stands for United States Medical Licensing Examination. In the next section, you will be reading all the details about USMLE-
Details about USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)
The professional examination of USMLE is sponsored by FSMB (Federation of State Medical Boards) and NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners). This Licensing examination is made up of 3 steps. Students who have Graduated from non-US Medical Schools must pass all the 3 steps of USMLE to get license to practice in the USA.
Let us analyze each step of USMLE and find out important details about them-
In step-1, Graduates’ knowledge of basic sciences is assessed. It is checked whether they are capable of applying concepts of science to the practice of Medicine.
This test is a one day process. The test consists of 308 Multiple Choice Questions that are divided into 7 blocks. Each block consists of 44 questions. One will be allotted 60 minutes to complete one block. Folks appearing for this test will have access to 45 minutes of break time.
In step-2, Graduates’ knowledge of Clinical science, medical knowledge and skills are assessed. It is checked whether they are capable of applying concepts of clinical science, medical knowledge and skills for patient care under supervision. This step has been further divided into two parts- Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS).
Clinical Knowledge test is a 1 day long process. The number of questions/ items in this test will not be more than 355. They will be divided into blocks. One will be allotted 60 minutes to complete one block. Folks appearing for the test will have access to 45 minutes of break time.
Clinical Skills exam is more like a practical test. In this test, Graduates will be introduced to standardized patients. They will then have to obtain details from the patient, perform physical examinations and finally communicate their findings to the patient.
In step-3, Graduates’ knowledge of clinical science, biomedical science and medical knowledge are assessed. It is checked whether they are capable of applying the concepts of clinical science, biomedical science and medical knowledge for unsupervised practice.
This step is a 2 day process. On the first day, FIP (Foundations of Independent Practice) will be held. On day 2, ACM (Advanced Clinical Medicine) test will be held.
On the first day, there will be 256 MCQs, divided into 6 blocks. One will be given 60 minutes to complete 1 block. Thus, it is evident that this test will take about 7 hours to complete (adding 45 minutes break time).
On the second day, there will be 198 MCQs, divided into 6 blocks. After this, there will be 13 case simulations that a Graduate has to face! Thus, on day 2, the tests will go on for about 9 hours.
Step-3 is the final part of the USMLE. On clearing it, Graduates will be given License to conduct Medical practice without supervision. Indian Medical Graduates and MBBS students can make use of the above mentioned information and start preparing for this Licensing examination.