In order to apply for United States 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. The Step 1 Exam is the most difficult of these exams. Preparation for this exam should begin from the first day you begin your studies at UQ. It is impossible to do well on the Step 1 Exam if you wait to begin your preparations one or two months before the test. 

View these videos developed for UQ-Ochsner students by UQ-Ochsner graduates.

UQ-Ochsner students are provided with a number of resources to support their study for the United States Medical Licensing Exams. 

USMLE Step 1

Phase 1
  • Becker Professional Education Package
    • 24-month access to Becker's eCoach Interactive eBooks with multimedia resources (audio, video, 3D animations and other interactive features). Over 200 hours of instruction covering the following disciplines: anatomy; behavioural science; biochemistry; immunology; medical genetics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology.
    • 24-month access to Becker's Step 1 Question Bank.
    • 5 hours of Live Online customized review each quarter, in Semesters 1 and 2 (March, May, August, and October), with Doctor Lionel Raymon. Dr Raymon will utilise his Integrated Cases deliver style to provide customized instruction reflecting the UQ curriculum content covered during each quarter. The classes are administered using Adobe Connect on weekends. 
  • First Aid for USMLE Step 1 book
  • 6-month access to USMLEWorld QBank
  • 3 NBME Practice Exams

In Year 1

Details are available via the Year 1 Community Site on Blackboard.
  • First Aid for USMLE Step 1 book
  • Becker's eCoach Interactive eBooks
  • Becker's Qbank
  • 4 live online first-year Becker tutorials

In Year 2

Details are available via the Year 2 Community Site on Blackboard.
  • First Aid for USMLE Step 1 book
  • Becker's eCoach Interactive eBooks
  • Becker's Qbank
  • 4 live online second-year Becker tutorials
  • 6-month access to USMLEWorld QBank (provided in second half of the year)
  • 3 NBME Practice Exams
View the Step 1 Study Plan.

Second Year

  • Before September: register with ECFMG through IWA (allow a minimum of 5 business days to process your request).
  • Mid-September: the UQ International Team will organise a day to sign the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) at St Lucia. It is not possible to complete the Form 186 until the exam period second year students are eligible for is opened (the earliest students can sit the exam is the November - January period), which is in September, after the release of the following years' Information Booklet.
  • Before starting Phase 2: sit the USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 2

In Phase 2
  • USMLEWorld QBank
    • 6-month access to USMLEWorld QBank for USMLE Step CK + Self-Assessment Form 1 (2 weeks)
    • Vouchers are provided to students after beginning Year 3 and upon successfully passing USMLE Step 1. The first batch of vouchers are distributed at the end of January each year. Students do not need to submit anything to OCS Student Affairs to receive the vouchers. Our office receives the scores directly from ECFMG. The vouchers can be activated at a later date, without any deadline for activation.
  • Online resources to USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS are available through the Ochsner Medical Library. Students receive access to the Ochsner Medical Library online resources upon beginning Year 3.
  • Simulated Step 2 CS practice exam offered by the Ochsner Clinical School
View the Step 2 Study Plan.

Refer to the Ochsner Year 4 Timeline section for additional details.


Sit to Progress

The University of Queensland Program Rules for the Doctor of Medicine (Ochsner) Program state that students enrolled in the UQ Ochsner MD program from 2017 must attempt the USMLE Step 1 examination before commencing Phase 2 of the program. This is known as the “Sit to Progress” rule. Unless there are valid extenuating circumstances, if you do not comply with this rule, your enrolment in the UQ-O MD program will be suspended until you have sat Step 1. Successful completion of the Step 1 exam is also required to participate in research at OCS, to do an external rotation during your fourth year, to serve as an officer in OMSA, and to enter the Match in your fourth year.

To comply with the “Sit to Progress” rule, you must provide evidence that you have sat Step 1 by March 1st of your first year in Phase 2. When you apply to sit Step 1, you must select a three-month eligibility period during which you would like to take the exam. The first available Step 1 eligibility period for you in 2018 is the November 2018 to January 2019 period. The December 2018 to February 2019 eligibility period would also allow you to sit the test by the required deadline. These eligibility periods will not be confirmed until the second half of the year, so you must regularly check the ECFMG website after mid-August and begin your application process when the period becomes available. The Ochsner Partnership Advisor will provide more information to you at this time. You must have completed all of your Phase 1 requirements by the start date of your examination eligibility period. If you select an eligibility period that begins before you have completed Year 2 coursework, the Faculty will not approve your application and you will suffer significant delays in your application.

If you take your exam prior to December 31st, you can be settled in New Orleans for the week of mandatory orientation events that take place prior to the start of Semester 1. Note that Step 1 is not offered during the first two weeks of January.

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

Phase 2 Student Contact

For all enquiries regarding Phase 2 (Years 3 and 4), please contact the Ochsner Clinical School Office of Student Affairs in New Orleans:

Phone: +1 504 842 0197