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The Difference Between the USMLE and the MCCEE

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Once you have completed your medical education at Windsor Caribbean medical school, you will need to meet certain requirements if you want to get a residency in the United States or Canada. If you are from a U.S. location, such as Miami, San Juan, or Atlanta, you may want to return to the States to practice medicine. If so, as an international medical graduate (IMG), you will need to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). If you are from a Canadian location, such as Toronto, Edmonton, or Vancouver, you may wish to come back to Canada for your residency. In that case, as an IMG, you will need to pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE).
Residency after Your Caribbean Medical Education

If you are from the U.S. or Canada, you might be unsure about which place you want to do your residency. Knowing the differences between the USMLE and the MCCEE could help you in making this decision. If you plan on practicing medicine in one of these countries after graduating from WUSOM, you will need to become familiar with at least one of these exams. The following are the main differences between the two examinations:


  • Exam Length – One of the advantages of taking the MCCEE instead of the USMLE is the length of time involved. The MCCEE is a four-hour test that includes 180 questions. The USMLE is far more intensive and comprises three phases: Step 1 is an eight-hour test and includes up to 240 questions. Step 2 involves a nine-hour test with up to 318 test items; after that, you are required to be present for 12 patient encounters of 15 minutes each. Step 3 is a two-day exam that spans approximately 16 total hours and includes up to 433 questions and 13 case simulations.
  • Knowledge Covered – Step 1 of the USMLE will test you on your basic knowledge of science. While the MCCEE does not test you specifically on this knowledge, you will need to possess the knowledge in order to pass the examination. The USMLE as a whole tests you on a broader range of knowledge than the MCCEE. The MCCEE is comparable to the first part of Step 2 of the USMLE; Step 2 involves clinical knowledge testing.
  • Scoring – Scoring for the two examinations is also different. To pass the MCCEE, you must attain just one score of 250. To pass the USMLE, you must pass each of the steps.


A Residency After Your Caribbean Medical Degree at WUSOM

The main difference between the two exams is that the USMLE is a comprehensive exam, and once you pass it, you may qualify for a medical residency in the U.S. Passing the MCCEE is a prerequisite for taking the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination, which you must pass in order to qualify for medical residency in Canada. No matter which exam you choose, your education at WUSOM will prepare you for it well. Reach us online for information on attaining your Caribbean medical degree and practicing medicine in the United States or Canada.

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