Transition of test content to DSM-5 criteria and terminology
Posted: November 04, 2013
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) was released at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in May 2013. USMLE test content will be impacted by changes in criteria and terminology.
Because USMLE content pools are large, the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria and terminology will need to be gradual and will likely take place over several years. The following principles will guide this transition:
- The highest priority has been given to test content assessing diagnoses that do not appear in DSM-5. This content has already been removed from USMLE examinations.
- USMLE will begin to transition content to include both DSM-IV and DSM-5 terminology. This process will begin in 2014. Start and end dates for this transition will vary by exam.
State board sponsorship for Step 3 to be discontinued in 2014
Posted: October 14, 2013
With the introduction of the restructured Step 3 examination in 2014, the USMLE program will no longer require examinees to apply for Step 3 under the eligibility requirements of a specific medical licensing authority.
All other Step 3 eligibility requirements (i.e., medical degree, passing Steps 1-2, ECFMG certification for IMGs) will remain applicable, as will all other USMLE program requirements (e.g., no more than 6 attempts at a Step or a Step component).
This change in the application process is tentatively scheduled to begin in August 2014.
Note: Removing state board sponsorship as part of the Step 3 examination application does not impact medical licensing requirements in the United States. Most medical licensing authorities have, and will continue to maintain, specific criteria for completion of the USMLE, such as time and attempt limits. A summary of these requirements can be found on the Federation of State Medical Boards website.
At this time, there are no plans for the USMLE program to impose a minimum residency training requirement as part of the Step 3 eligibility criteria. However, the USMLE program will likely continue to recommend that individuals take Step 3 at or near the completion of the first year of residency training.