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How to Use ChatGPT for USMLE Preparation?

ChatGPT has passed USMLE. I tested ChatGPT for 4 weeks to find out how to ace USMLE using ChatGPT. I will share my experience on the 5 ways you can use ChatGPT into your USMLE preparation starting today and that too for free!  If you are in Canada, you can use the exact same principles for MCCQE1.

Let’s jump to find out right away from the article below with screenshots. If you are interested in an actual demonstration with video screen recordings of how actually ChatGPT helped with USMLE, watch the video from the link below. 

What is ChatGPT?

I have to tell you about ChatGPT first, which is especially important if you have not heard of this. ChatGPT is also known as Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer and is an artificial intelligence chatbot. This was recently developed by a company called open AI in November of 2022.

You can ask ChatGPT any question, it’s going to answer you like it’s a real person except that everything is happening through chatting or texting. You can use this on your phone or on your laptop I honestly got excited but also scared when I tested ChatGPT. The number of things it knows and it can do is unbelievable.

ChatGPT was tested on various topics and so far has passed the following exams:

This makes ChatGPT a Doctor, Lawyer & Business Entrepreneur. My focus here is on Doctors and I will give you 5 ways I tested ChatGPT to ace USMLE.

Whether you plan to enter the USA to do a residency, direct fellowship, or come in directly as an attending physician, through the alternate entry path program, you will need to ace USMLE.

How to Use ChatGPT?

To get ChatGPT, the first thing I did is to go on google and search for ChatGPT.

Then I clicked the very first thing that said “Introducing ChatGPT – OpenAI”.

Once I clicked on this link, this is the screen that came up next.

On the screen above, I clicked on “Try ChatGPT” at the bottom left of the screen. Once I did that, the next screen asked “Verify you are a human”. Of course, I had to sign up and log in. I realized this can be done either by logging in or Signing up using an existing google account.

This is where the magic happened. ChatGPT Interactive Screen[/caption]

There are two options to use ChatGPT. One is free and the other is a paid version. At this time it costs $20 a month to use the paid version. I however used the free version and this is what I am going to show you here. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of this becomes a paid tool!

You can do this on your phone, laptop, desktop, or any compatible device.

1. How to use ChatGPT to generate sample USMLE questions?

Sample USMLE Question 1

Yes, I asked ChatGPT to give me sample USMLE questions. I typed a question “Give me a sample USMLE question” on the ChatGPT text tab and hit the return button on my Mac computer (enter button on windows).

ChatGPT creating a sample USMLE question

This gave me a sample question within a span of a few seconds along with the answers and explanation! Here you see.

USMLE Sample Question 2

Then I decided to be more specific about the way of questions I asked ChatGPT. I typed Give me a sample USMLE question that is difficult and is about thoracic surgery. My idea was to include two specific keywords here – difficult and thoracic surgery.

I couldn’t believe what I got – A sample USMLE question that was both difficult and related to thoracic surgery, along with the options and an explanation.

Try this for yourself and I bet you will be surprised at what you will see.

ChatGPT USMLE sample question on thoracic surgery

A word of caution: although ChatGPT is giving the answer, I can’t say for 100% sure this gives the right answer every time. On one question, I tested it gave me an answer that was not in agreement with the USMLE official website. Then I told ChatGPT that the answer should have been different. Believe it or not, ChatGPT apologized for the wrong answer and gave me the correct one. Either way, the point I am making is just to be cautious. Make sure you have your concepts really solid because as you can imagine, you cannot blame ChatGPT if you get the answers wrong!!

These were just two simple examples that I showed but you can use the same concept for any specialty and any question that you want to generate. In fact, this will be a lot more high yield for topics on

  • Biostatistics
  • Population health
  • Psychiatry, etc.

2. How to use ChatGPT for answer explanations to USMLE questions?

Sample USMLE Question 1

I found USMLE sample questions on USMLE.ORG. This website has many questions with answers but with no explanation. So I tested the utility of ChatGPT’s explanations it gave for questions from the official USMLE website.

I searched for USMLE Sample Questions on Google. Then I clicked Step 1 Sample Questions.

With this, I entered the USMLE official website and clicked on sample test questions. I accepted the cookies.

Below are the sample test questions that the USMLE website had.

Sample test questions from USMLE.org

I clicked on this question that says social sciences communications. I liked this question since this is asking for the most appropriate initial statement by the physician, it’s not asking for treatment. Questions on treatment are easily answered by International Medical Graduates (IMGs), but, these types of concepts related to the practice in my experience where international medical graduates (IMGs) have some difficulty compared to US graduates.

A USMLE sample question on usmle.org

In this case, I already knew the correct answer is Option “A” based on the answer given below. But I assumed I don’t know why the correct answer is option “A” but not the other options. This is where I tested ChatGPT. Now I copied this question from the USMLE website and pasted this on ChatGPT. I hit the return button.

A question that I pasted from usmle.org to ChatGPT

The chat GPT does say the correct answer is option “A”. It also says why it is not Options “B”, “C”, “D”, or “E”. You see this below. Here is the strength of ChatGPT.

You can make use of these explanations for any question on the USMLE website or outside.

ChatGPT provides an explanation to the question from USMLE.org

Sample USMLE Question 2

I decided to test another question. So I clicked the Step 1 Sample Questions [pdf] from the Quick links below. You can access the quick link for sample questions by clicking here. 

From the PDF sample questions, I found that the very first question is on Biostatistics. The USMLE website gives the answer but there is no explanation.

This question talks about serum LDL cholesterol concentrations are measured in blood samples collected from 25 healthy volunteers. You can read the question from the below picture. 

I copied and pasted this on ChatGPT. Then I did the usual entered the return button (or enter on Windows).

This is what happened. ChatGPT not only gave the answer as Option B: 120-140, but also gave the explanation on how to do the calculations along with the formula for mean and standard deviation.

This happened in just a span of a few seconds.

If you are trying this, you could do the exact same thing on Google but it’s going to take a lot more time. You have to dig through various websites in order to find the correct answer or the correct way of performing the calculations.

I cross-verified this answer and found that option B was the right answer. Again, I caution you to make sure you know the accurate answer because ChatGPT can sometimes give a wrong answer, so I don’t want you to assume everything ChatGPT does is accurate. After all, this is artificial intelligence without any original intelligence.

3. How to use ChatGPT to generate mnemonics for difficult USMLE concepts?

I asked ChatGPT to create a mnemonic for something that is difficult to remember. Specifically, I asked “What is a good mnemonic to easily remember brachial plexus block? and hit the return button.

ChatGPT gave me two different mnemonics: one called “MARMU” and the other “Randy Travis Drinks Cold Beer”.  I liked the second one since it has a context to it. It stands for Roots, Trunks, Divisions, Cords, and Branches.

Then I thought about the international medical graduates from various countries. They may want to use a local name to make it easy for them to remember. So I went back to ChatGPT and said “Generate Indian names with the first name starting with a letter “R” and last name with “T”. Here is what I got – a list of ten names.

Now I could pick any. If I need more, then I could have just said Regenerate Response to get more.

I was curious to see how ChatGPT would work for different countries. So I did a similar test for Brazilian Names and here is what I got.

Then I checked middle eastern names and I got this list.

My goal was to check to make sure it works with context to other parts of the World. You are getting my point right? Ultimately, you pick what works best for you. The overall goal is to ace USMLE using ChatGPT.

4. How to use ChatGPT to simplify difficult USMLE topics?

I will show you examples of what I tested. I asked ChatGPT to explain Kreb’s cycle or Citric Acid Cycle in simple terms. Within a few seconds it’s telling me is a process that takes place in the mitochondria of cells.

Some of the information may be for beginners, but it also spelled out information on Acetyl-CoA combining with a four molecule called oxaloacetate and then citrate, etc. These are some high-yield stuff that it gave me that could help me ace USMLE.

ChatGPT explaining Kreb’s cycle

Then I decided to ask something more specific. I asked ChatGPT What are the changes in pulmonary function tests important for USMLE?”  I used two keywords here to make it more specific – one is changes in pulmonary function test and the other is USMLE. I was expecting the answer to contain information on how  pulmonary volumes and capacities are affected,

All right you see this above, ChatGPT gave a summary of important concepts in the pulmonary function tests and the associated changes.  It got into detail on where the FVC is affected and it also is talking about the diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide with other concepts. Well, you see how you can make use of ChatGPT to your benefit in preparing for USMLE.

5. How to use ChatGPT for answers to USMLE specific questions?

The fifth way I made use of ChatGPT was by asking ChatGPT some specific questions about general topics and let’s look at some examples of this.

I asked ChatGPT as to what is a good study material for USMLE for me as a beginner. My expected answers were USMLE world and First Aid. I also wanted to see if this is going to recommend something else for me. Within a few seconds, it generated a list of study materials like Pathoma, Sketchy Medical & others. In addition, it provided me with a general guide on what subjects to focus on as a beginner.

As a beginner, you may want to start with the basic sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology. You can find many resources for these subjects, including textbooks, review books, and online resources.

Then I asked ChatGPT How much time should I dedicate to USMLE step 1 preparation? I know this is different for each person but wanted to see what ChatGPT suggests. It gave an approximate timeline along with many suggestions that I thought were pretty good.

Similarly, you can use ChatGPT for various different questions and smartly Ace your USMLE using ChatGPT.

Does USMLE Program Know About ChatGPT?

The USMLE program is fully aware of ChatGPT. I say this because of this recent article they have posted.

Here is what the USMLE program says. I will quote this verbatim.

“Although there is insufficient evidence to support the current claims that artificial intelligence can pass the USMLE step exams we would not be surprised to see artificial intelligence models improve their performance dramatically as the technology evolves. If utilized correctly these tools can have a positive impact on how assessments are built and how students can learn”.

This content is originally published on IMGsecrets.com. If you find this elsewhere, this is stolen content. 

Conclusions

I shared how I tested ChatGPT to Ace USMLE. I have shown you the 5 ways you can integrate ChatGPT into your USMLE preparation starting today. You will need to ace USMLE whether you are a US graduate or an IMG.

Unfortunately, anything can be misused, but I do hope you as professionals will use ChatGPT in the right sense. I want your feedback and your thoughts on what you think about ChatGPT. You can message me on this website.

I also have many other videos for you to be successful as an IMG on my youtube channel IMG Secrets.

I have given a few examples below.

Uncovering the Secret to Pre-Residency Fellowships for IMGs in the USA

Can IMG Doctors Work in the USA Without Residency or Green Card?

10 Elite US Hospitals open door for IMG Observership

11 IMG Friendly Specialties in the USA Based on NRMP Data

By Dr. Rajeev Iyer, MBBS, MD, FASA

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology,
University of Pennsylvania, USA

The opinions in this article are author’s own and do not represent the opinion of University of Pennsylvania or any other organizations. 

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