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Final diagnosis screen removed from Step 3 CCS cases

Posted: December 10, 2018
Updated: January 11, 2019

Step 3 examinees will no longer be asked to enter information regarding a final diagnosis before ending a computer-based case simulation (CCS) case. Most examinees who test on or after January 1, 2019 will not see the final diagnosis screen at the end of a CCS case. Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks.

This change does not affect the scoring of the CCS cases in any way. Final diagnoses have never been used in scoring an examinee performance. 


USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK content changes scheduled for mid-2020

Posted: November 05, 2019

Beginning in mid-2020, the Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examinations will include an increased number of questions assessing communication skills, system-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism. The length of the testing days for Step 1 and Step 2 CK will not change.

Decisions about the balance of content on USMLE examinations are the responsibility of two groups: the USMLE Composite Committee and USMLE Management Committee. Both are composed of educators, practicing physicians, members with experience on state medical licensure boards, and public members. These committees approved the increase in the number of test items assessing the important competencies listed above. 

Timetable:

  • Beginning in May 2020, Step 1 will include additional questions assessing communication skills.
  • Beginning in June/July 2020, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge will include additional questions on systems-based practice, patient safety, legal/ethical issues, and professionalism.
  • No changes to the Step 3 examination are planned during this timeframe. 

Sample test items illustrating assessment of communications skills, systems-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism are provided in the Step 1 Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 7-11) and in the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 8-11).

The practice materials available on USMLE.org will be updated in early 2020 to reflect these changes in the distribution of exam content across content categories on Step 1 and Step 2 CK.


Possible changes to USMLE scores – continuing the discussion

Posted: October 08, 2019

A podcast featuring two members of the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS) planning committee, Dr. Michael Barone, Vice President of Licensure Programs for NBME, and Dave Johnson, Senior Vice President, Assessment Services for the Federation of State Medical Boards, is now available. They discuss themes from the public comments, upcoming improvements to USMLE, and insight into the vision for the program.

You can listen to the podcast here.


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