United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

In order to apply for United States (U.S.) medical residency programs, and eventually become licensed in the U.S. to practice medicine, students must pass the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE). The exams are divided into four distinct parts: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), and Step 3.

The Step 1 examination is the most difficult of these. Preparation for this exam should begin from the first week you begin your studies at UQ. It is impossible to do well on Step 1 if you wait to begin your preparations until a few months before the exam.

As outlined in the MD Ochsner program rules (see 4.7(2)), students must attempt the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 examination before commencing Phase 2 of the program.  This is known as the “sit to progress” rule.

It is important to note that passing the first three parts of the USMLE is compulsory for students entering the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which is how applicants obtain a medical residency in the U.S. The USMLE Step 1 score is the most important factor in receiving a residency position. Experience at UQ and elsewhere has shown that students who sit the USMLE Step 1 prior to their clinical years (Phase 2) perform on average better than students who delay completion of the examination.  Students who delay the examination have higher fail rates and lower mean scores.

USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 assesses a student’s knowledge of clinical sciences relevant to the practice of medicine. The Faculty of Medicine provides a number of resources to assist MD Ochsner students to prepare for Step 1.  Although a difficult test it is not an impossible test.  Every year thousands of medical students take and pass the exam.

For more details on the USMLE please visit their website.

Phase 1 Student Contact

For all enquiries regarding Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2), please contact the Ochsner Partnership Advisor in Brisbane: 

Phone: +61 7 3346 4866
Email: med.enquiries@uq.edu.au