Failure is the number one fear among medical students…especially since it can literally be a matter of life and death. This fear really starts to set in when it comes time to taking the USMLE. While it’s true we are no strangers to test-taking and medical assessments, the USMLE is not a commonplace exam and should never be taken as such.
In both 2014 and 2015, about 23,700 foreign medical graduates took the USMLE® Step 1 exam, and 78% passed. This means that 22% of first time test-takers had another year of studying before entering residency.
After failing one of the USMLE®’s, you will inevitably suffer from the Kubler-Ross model of grief. This includes denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They can occur in any order, and each can occur multiple times. It is normal to be upset and experience any of these emotions. For the most part, these emotions are completely normal, but always seek professional help should they become debilitating in any way. Here are important tips to keep in mind if you should need to retake an exam.