There has been a growing interest among Dutch medical (pre-)graduates to spend time abroad for research purposes (minor, research master internships) but also as part of their medical education (clinical rotations, residencies or fellowships). Furthermore, there is an eagerness among medical students and graduates to gain ‘top-clinical’ knowledge acquired outside of the regular medical school program. The US is a popular destination due to the many acclaimed university hospitals, well-known medical centers and prestigious research facilities located there, and the favorable job opportunities in certain areas.
However, Dutch medical students and even medical graduates (despite being “BIG-registered”) are not allowed to practice medicine in the US. In order to practice in the US, medical pre-graduates will need to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE®). Currently, there is minimal awareness of these requirements among medical students and a strong and unmet need for USMLE-focused tutoring and counseling. So far, a course focusing on USMLE test preparation has not been realized in the Netherlands.
Floris Dammeijer (1992) and Linda Joosse (1989) have successfully obtained excellent USMLE scores and have counseled several medical students throughout their Step 1 process. In collaboration with other Erasmus MC affiliated parties, they have set up a USMLE Step 1 preparation course in Rotterdam (USMLE S.O.S., School of Success). Currently, they both work as PhD-candidates in immunological research at the Erasmus Medical Center.