SUCCESSFUL MATCH!
Congratulations on a successful match! …. now what? Take some time off, relax and do something non-medical (watch all the seasons of 24).  You’ll need a breather since in less than 4 months you are going to be a busy surgical intern.  If you want some light reading to prepare for ENT start with a good basic general ENT book such as Lalwani’s “Current”  or Pasha.  

WHEN SHOULD I TAKE STEP 3?
There is some truth to the adage “2 months, 2 weeks, a #2 pencil” for test preparation before Steps 1-3.  After finishing medical school and having already completed Steps 1 & 2, most people feel that step 3 is not a hard test.  Since you (hopefully) have already matched , your score is not as important.  Having said that, make sure you that you don’t fail it, as it is a little embarrassing to explain a “fail” to your new program director…

Most people prefer taking the test sooner rather than later.  Nearly everything that is tested on step 3 is medicine related, and very little, if any surgical oriented questions are asked. Therefore, the farther out you are from medical school, the worse you will likely do.  This is particularly true in our field, since everyone has a surgical intern year.

There are some basic requirements (see individual state requirements) you must meet before you are eligible to apply: 

  1. Obtain an MD (or DO) degree (you may apply only apply after the date of graduation on your diploma). 
  2. Pass both USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (CK and CS). 
  3. Meet the requirements for taking Step 3 imposed by the individual licensing authority for which you are applying to sit Step 3. 

There is often some confusion about the 3rd listed requirement. The state that you register for does not have to be the state you are from or moving to (see fsmb.org FAQ).  Registering for a particular state is a technicality.  If you pass in any state, it is recognized nationally.  In order to be eligible for test in most states you must have a minimum of 1-3 years post-graduate training.  If you live in a state that has a higher post-graduate requirement, you can get around it by registering in a state with less of a wait period.

FINAL WORD
That was probably a lot to take in!  If you feel a little overwhelmed at this point you are in the same boat as everyone else.  Just remember, when you are busting your butt on an audition rotation, you are completely exhausted and barely able to plaster that smile up on your face…you will get through it.  Just take each obstacle a step at a time, give it your best, and move on.  It is competitive because it is worth it.

We hope that you found the site helpful. If you have any suggestions on ways we can improve our format or if there are any other topics you would like to see discussed, please contact us.

On behalf of headmirror.com, we wish you the best of luck on a successful match!!