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Important announcement regarding Fifth Pathway certificates and USMLE Step 3

Posted: March 08, 2016

As previously announced, the governing committee of the USMLE program and the USMLE parent organizations (the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical examiners) have determined that the USMLE will cease acceptance of Fifth Pathway certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements, effective January 1, 2017.

Currently, the USMLE program accepts either a valid Standard ECFMG Certificate or a valid Fifth Pathway certificate (issued through December 31, 2009) from international medical graduates for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements.

Individuals who hold valid Fifth Pathway certificates, and are otherwise eligible, may use their Fifth Pathway certificates to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements, and may apply for Step 3 through December 31, 2016.

Individuals holding Fifth Pathway certificates that are not accepted by the USMLE program for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility will be required to obtain ECFMG certification in order to be eligible for Step 3.

If you hold a valid Fifth Pathway certificate but have not completed the full USMLE sequence of examinations, you should remain mindful of the December 31, 2016 deadline, after which use of your Fifth Pathway certificate to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements will not be permitted.

Information on Step 3 eligibility requirements


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: May 12, 2017

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Based on scheduling trends, if you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

The graph below is an estimate of test appointment availability for the next six months as of the date at the bottom of the graph. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ.

Appointment availability changes frequently, so if you are unable to schedule an appointment during a particular time period, please continue to check the Step 2 CS scheduling website. Additional appointments may become available 60 days in advance of a test date.



More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet

Posted: May 12, 2017

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet has been updated to include information about automatic submission of the patient note as well as recent enhancements to security procedures

In addition, as previously posted, beginning May 21, 2017, examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management. For these cases, a physical examination will not be required, and the data interpretation section of the patient note will not need to be completed.

PLEASE NOTE: the start date for cases that deal with making decisions and problem management was incorrect in the initial posting of the announcement; the correct date is May 21, 2017.


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