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Estimated Expense from start of USMLE to start of Residency

Estimated Expense from start of USMLE to start of Residency

By Waqas Nawaz M.D

Here is an account of expenses during the USMLE journey It is one of the limiting factors. It will be an estimate and will apply to those who don't have any relatives in USA.

1- Exam fees: about $ 2400
Step 1: $ 1950 Step 2: $ 2950 (if taken in the Pakistan) and $ 780 if in the USA CS: $ 1400 Step 3: $ 780
2- Travel expenses: $5600 ($3600 + $2000)
- One has to go at least 3 times to USA before he starts residency - $1200 x 3= $3600
- One has to travel for CS and interviews inside USA that's variable depending how many and how remote interviews one gets (I will share my own expense here, $ 2000 as I had most of interviews in New York, but I had to fly to Atlanta for CS and fly to Missouri and Wisconsin for interviews)
3-Expense on USCE:
Include expense on electives, observer ship - estimate is $500 to $1000 per rotation of 4 weeks.
4-Living expense in the USA:
>Depends whether you get residency in 1st attempt or not. >Accommodation at APPNA house is $ 50 / week. >Accommodation charges where you do clinical rotations. >Total estimate for accommodation and food is $ 500 per month with a total of 9 months x500 = $4500.
5-Match application: $3000
On average it takes $3000 to apply for the match and NRMP registration and My ERAS token
So the total expense before you start earning is around $15000. It is highly variable and depend upon how planned you are, in how many minimum visits you do all your stuff, in what areas you get rotations and interviews and what friends you have during all this process.
6- For repeat applicants
 $ 7000 to $ 7500 is the minimum expenditure in addition to the above calculated amount. ($2500 match application, $1250 for ticket (multiply by 2 if you travel twice, once for USCE after missing previous match, once for coming back on interviews), remaining $ 1250 for travelling, $ 1000 for 5 months stay and accommodation(during match season), add $2000 - average minimum expenses on 4-5 months of additional USCE before match application) But in case , unfortunately, one has to apply again then it all depends upon personal preferences.(How much effort and dollars you want to invest depending upon your will, strength and chances of reselection- EVALUATE YOURSELF CRTITICALLY ON YOUR OWN AND ASK EXPERIENCED SENIORS) Some follow the track of unpaid research for a year, some go for 5,6 months of clinical rotations, so the city where u will work (observer-ship, externship ,research-without pay) will decide the amount of dollars So the aggregate touches a considerable amount of $ 23000 for repeat applicants.

Waqas Nawaz, MD
Faran Ahmad, MD


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