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USMLE takes action against individuals found to have engaged in irregular behavior

Posted: April 21, 2016

The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.

At its recent meetings, the CIR considered multiple cases involving the following:

  • falsifying information, including the creation of falsified score reports
  •  seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials
  • communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with other examinees
  • providing unauthorized access to examination content on the internet
  • applying for and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
  • making notes on test day  on something  other than materials provided
  • failure to follow test center instructions, including typing past the ‘End Patient Note’ announcement in Step 2 Clinical Skills

Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included:

  • annotating individual USMLE records with a finding of irregular behavior
  • barring access to USMLE for periods up to 3 years
  • reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank (Physician Data Center [PDC]) at the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes
  • cancelling the examinee’s score because the validity of a passing level score is in question

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 deemed to be irregular behavior.

Applicants and examinees are also encouraged to watch the USMLE Security Video.

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.


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: April 20, 2016

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. Testing appointments are typically completely filled at least three to four months in advance. 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 indicates test appointment availability for the next six months. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one center, but across all five locations. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ.

 

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


Images in Step 2 Clinical Skills examination

Posted: March 22, 2016

Beginning May 22, 2016, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examinees may see a case in which the standardized patient provides a digital image (for example, a photograph, x-ray, MRI, or CT) on a tablet computer. Examinees will be able to enlarge the image. During the pre-session orientation, examinees will have an opportunity to view a sample image on a tablet, and to practice enlarging the image.

Not all examinations will include a case with an image. Examinees will see a maximum of one case with an image per examination.


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