Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The USMLE journey cost


This blog covers the finances of the journey.

I know you are reading this because you are wondering if you can afford it, if it is all worth it.

For knowledge, I believe, destiny creates a way. Remember, to NOT quit your dreams because of green pieces of paper.

Also, this post was written in 2018. It may change by the time you apply.

For Step 1:

ECFMG application fee: 75$

USMLE Step 1 exam: 910$
It may change.

Medical school processing fee: 10$
My medical school charges 10$ to complete the administrative process required to fill the form. It may be non-existent in your school.

Courier the application to Philadelphia: 15-20$
How to save the penny: Get the cheapest courier :P

UWorld Qbank, if purchased: 200-400$
I took UW for 3 months.

First Aid book, if purchased: 55$

NBME, depending on how many you take: 50-60$ x 0-6
I took 2 NBMEs

Just giving step 1 would cost: ~ 1000-2000$

Applying for electives:

I applied to Cleveland Clinic (240$), Case Western Reserve University (300$) in 2014.

Did not get any electives :(

I applied again in 2015:
Cleveland Clinic (240$), Case Western Reserve University (300$), University of North Carolina (100$), Yale (no application fee, just a 10$ courier)

Along with application fees, you have:

TOEFL: 180$
Health insurance: ~50$ / month
Malpractice insurance: ~300$ / month
Getting your titres and vaccines: ? Don't remember but around 50$ I think

Just applying to electives will cost: ~2000-3000$

PLEASE NOTE: I applied in 2015. The application cost has increased a lot, a junior told me that just applying to Cleveland Clinic is 400$ in 2018.

I had applied to electives that required a step 1 score and were essentially free of cost once you get accepted. However, some universities require you to pay a elective fee that ranges from 2000-5000$ per month.

When you got for electives:

Visa: ? 150$
Ticket: 1000-3000$ depending on when you go
Living expenses: 50-300$ / month (
Rent: 300-1000$ / month

Step 2 CS exam: 1500$ + costs of living near your test center

Doing electives for 2 months and CS exam may cost: ~5000-7000$

Step 2 CK exam: 910$
UW for step 2 CK: ~300$
Any mock exams, if purchased: 60$ x number of exams

Giving step 2 CK would cost: ~ 1000-2000$

Applying for the match:

ERAS Token $115
Electronic Transmission of USMLE Transcript for ERAS $80
Applying to residency programs: 26$ x number of programs you apply to
You may apply to 100-200 programs: ~4000$

Applying for the match will cost: ~5000$

Ticket: 1000-3000$

Match season ~4 months
Rent: 0$ if staying with a relative / friend
600-1000$ + living expenses / month

A rough interview estimate:
Traveling: 100-500$
Stay: 0-300$

x number of interviews

The interview season will cost: 3000-8000$

Other expenses:
If you break the one year Maharashtra UG bond: ~16500$

If you decide to do research, rent + living expenses: ???

If you decide to give step 3 exam: 1500$

Total cost: 10,000-50,000$

Remember to take the first step in faith. I took my Step 1 exam not knowing how I would pay so much, you know? But somehow, a way was made by destiny. My parents started earning more, I received personal loans, my brother and I started earning, some expenses got waived off, unforeseeable things happened - and I made it. You will make it too.


If I missed out on a major expense - please let me know in the comments!

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