« Previous Page: 1 of 10 Next »

Announcements Stay up to date.  Click here to subscribe to the Announcements RSS Feed


USMLE listens: students and residents offer feedback

Posted: March 27, 2019

To deepen its awareness of student and resident perspectives, United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) program staff hosted the Medical Student and Resident Advisory Panel in February 2019. The panel, which meets twice a year, is designed to:

  • Test assumptions about the USMLE with an examinee audience
  • Collect feedback from medical students and residents on issues and topics specific to USMLE
  • Gain insight into the perspective of examinees on USMLE policy issues

Prior to their visit, panelists provided input about topics they wanted to discuss during the meeting.

Panelists shared their medical school journey
  • Panelists shared their personal journey in medical education and training, as well as insights into how the current USMLE program impacts their journey. They then explored the impact of USMLE scores and test preparation from the perspectives of different stakeholders, including examinees, medical schools, and residency programs. USMLE staff noted that the journeys were quite different, due to differences in school size, name recognition, grading policy, and many other factors. 
  • Staff asked the panelists what the leaders of the USMLE program should be mindful of as they consider USMLE score reporting within the continuum of medical education. Several themes emerged: the desire for medical students and residents to feel a sense of control over their individual journeys; the need to acknowledge the strong emotions arising from the current discussion of Step score reporting; the need to mitigate unintended consequences arising from any change(s) to USMLE.

Feedback about Step 2 CS score reports
In prior meetings, the panelists provided feedback on the Step 1, 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 score report redesign prototypes. At this meeting, the panel reviewed a prototype design for the new Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinee score reports, and offered feedback. The guiding principles for all the redesigns have been:

  • Improve transparency regarding what will be on the exam and the score report 
  • Increase guidance for failing examinees 
  • Create more consistency in category labels 
  • Maximize granularity (while minimizing unintended use) 
  • Create reports that are interactive

USMLE videos coming soon
At previous meetings, the panel weighed in concerning the types of information medical students and residents need to hear from USMLE. The panel indicated that providing information about the USMLE journey and highlighting that it is a licensing examination would be beneficial to new or first-time examinees.

The panel also suggested that information about who works on USMLE (e.g., who writes the actual test items) would also be of interest and help to “humanize” the program with examinees. At this meeting, the panel previewed two videos produced to address their recommendations and indicated that the video format and quality of information shared in each was useful and would help to fill gaps they had experienced in their journey as USMLE examinees. Look for the videos to be available on USMLE.org in coming weeks.

USMLE research; proposed checklists
Students and residents were also briefed about recent USMLE research, as well as proposed checklists for examinees to use to feel ready on exam day or to ensure they’ve completed all the steps for registration.

USMLE staff are grateful for actionable input from the panel. The date for the next in-person meeting of the panel has not yet been set, though it is likely to reconvene by conference call in late spring or early summer.


USMLE program announces upcoming policy changes

Posted: February 12, 2020

Today, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®), co-sponsors of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®), announced upcoming policy changes to the USMLE program.

These new policies will continue to enable the USMLE program to provide high-quality assessments for the primary user of exam results (state medical boards) while also addressing other considerations, such as exam security and unintended consequences of secondary score uses. The secondary uses of Step 1 scores for residency screening, in particular, have been the focus of extensive discussion over the past year at the FSMB and NBME, within the USMLE program, and with multiple stakeholders within the broader medical education and regulatory communities.

“These new policies strengthen the integrity of the USMLE and address concerns about Step 1 scores impacting student well-being and medical education,” said Humayun Chaudhry, DO, MACP, President and CEO of the FSMB. “Although the primary purpose of the exam is to assess the knowledge and skills essential to safe patient care, it is important that we improve the transition from undergraduate to graduate medical education.”

“The USMLE program governance carefully considered input from multiple sources in coming to these decisions. Recognizing the complexity of the environment and the desire for improvement, continuation of the status quo was not the best way forward,” reported Peter Katsufrakis, MD, MBA, President and CEO of NBME. “Both program governance and staff believe these changes represent improvements to the USMLE program and create the environment for improved student experiences in their education and their transition to residency."

These policy changes are currently planned to be phased in over the next 11-24 months. For specific information on each policy, consult the links above to the detailed statements accompanying each policy change. A podcast supplementing the information contained in this announcement is below.


Potential impact of coronavirus on USMLE examination administrations

Posted: January 30, 2020

The USMLE program continues to monitor the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and is prepared to take appropriate measures as warranted to protect the health and safety of examinees and the public.

Whenever an examinee has a scheduled testing appointment, it is important to monitor the impact of illness, weather, or other conditions on USMLE administrations by going to the Prometric website (for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 exams) and the CSEC website (for Step 2 Clinical Skills exams) for updates. Test centers may close at any time. 

If you have been impacted by a test center closure related to the corona virus and need assistance with rescheduling your examination, please contact your registration entity.

It is also always important to monitor your own health. If you do not feel well on the day of your test, we strongly encourage you to reschedule your examination. If you become ill while taking any USMLE exam, inform a proctor promptly.

Please check the USMLE website for updates on the potential impact of coronavirus on USMLE administrations.


« Previous Page: 1 of 10 Next »