USMLE takes action against individuals found to have engaged in irregular behavior
Posted: February 27, 2014
The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout each year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.
At its recent meetings, the CIR heard multiple cases involving the following:
- falsified information, including the creation of falsified score reports
- soliciting and/or seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials
- communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with another examinee
- applying and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
- making notes of any kind on anything other than materials provided
- failure to follow test center instructions, including writing past the ‘end patient note’ announcement
Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included annotating the individual’s USMLE record with a finding of irregular behavior, barring access to USMLE for periods ranging from 0-3 years, and reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank of the Federation of State Medical Boards. State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes.
As evidenced by the sanctions listed above, a finding of irregular behavior carries significant potential impact. USMLE applicants and examinees are reminded to read the USMLE Bulletin of Information carefully, follow the rules of conduct during testing, and refrain from any pre- or post-examination conduct that might constitute irregular behavior. Specific examples of conduct deemed to be irregular behavior can be found in the Bulletin.
The USMLE is committed to maintaining the integrity of its examination so that state medical boards may continue to rely upon it as an integral part of their decision-making process for licensure. Applicants and examinees are advised to observe all USMLE policies and procedures to avoid the potentially significant implications arising from a finding of irregular behavior.
USMLE encourages you to provide information about cheating and other activity of which you are aware that may compromise the security and integrity of USMLE. Please use our contact form to report such information.
Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills information available
Posted: January 24, 2014
An updated Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet is available.
The Description of the Examination and Scoring the Step 2 CS Examination sections include expanded language on expectations for interacting with standardized patients, as well as additional information on scoring. Appendix B includes new sample patient notes, which have additional information to help examinees understand how the notes are scored.
Unified content outline to be adopted for all USMLE exams
Posted: January 17, 2014
A unified content outline, which provides a common organization of content across all USMLE examinations, has been developed.
The unified content outline consists of 18 sections. Fourteen of these sections primarily correspond to organ systems; the remaining four sections are General Principles; Multi-system Processes and Disorders; Biostatistics, Epidemiology/Population Health, and Interpretation of the Medical Literature; and Social Sciences.
Most organ systems are partitioned into Normal Processes and Abnormal Processes, and include subcategories of specific disease processes. In most instances, knowledge of normal processes is evaluated in the context of a disease process or specific pathology.
While the unified outline is common to all exams, each Step will continue to have test specifications specific to that Step. Each Step exam will emphasize certain parts of the outline, and no single examination will include questions on all topics in the outline.
Examinations released in 2014 will be built using the new unified content outline. Test specifications using the unified outline will be published in early 2014. For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, the changes will be subtle, and the examinations will be similar in content to previous years. Step 3 examinations administered on or after November 1, 2014 will include more substantial changes in content; additional information about changes to Step 3 is available.