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Work to relaunch USMLE Step 2 CS discontinued

Posted: January 26, 2021

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and NBME, co-sponsors of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®), are today announcing the discontinuation of work to relaunch a modified Step 2 Clinical Skills examination (Step 2 CS). 

Following the May 2020 suspension of Step 2 CS due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we announced our intention to take 12-18 months to bring back a modified Step 2 CS exam that was appreciably better than the prior assessment. After reviewing current and anticipated progress with the exam and in consideration of the rapidly evolving medical education, practice and technology landscapes, we have decided to discontinue Step 2 CS. We have no plans to bring back Step 2 CS, but we intend to take this opportunity to focus on working with our colleagues in medical education and at the state medical boards to determine innovative ways to assess clinical skills.

Independent standardized assessments of medical knowledge and clinical skills are important inputs for state medical licensure decisions. In the absence of Step 2 CS, elements of clinical reasoning and communication will continue to be assessed on other exams (Steps) in the USMLE sequence. Computer-based case simulations in Step 3 and communication content recently bolstered in Step 1 are examples of these efforts that will continue. While not a replacement for Step 2 CS, these formats continue to contribute positively, e.g., measuring critical knowledge of medical communication.  

Our change in direction will allow us to take additional time to partner with the medical education and medical board community to better develop innovative ways to assess the breadth of clinical skills in medicine.

For questions about the Step 2 CS discontinuation and any other USMLE-related inquiries please contact the USMLE support team: https://www.usmle.org/contact/

"The FSMB is committed to supporting state medical boards in their principal mission to protect the public," said Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MACP, President and CEO of the FSMB. "As co-sponsors of the USMLE program, we will continue to seek innovative and sensible ways to assess medical licensing eligibility."

"NBME’s commitment to performance-based assessment and clinical skills has accelerated. Our newest area of focus around competency -based assessment, and our exploration of novel assessments, will allow us to work with the medical education and regulatory communities to develop assessments of these essential skills and the optimal way to integrate these assessments into the education and licensure space," said Peter J. Katsufrakis, MD, MBA, President and CEO, NBME. 

ECFMG will continue to oversee requirements for its certification of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and has announced an expansion of its pathways that will allow qualified IMGs to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification and to continue to pursue U.S. graduate medical education. 


Step 2 CK – Delay in score reporting

Posted: March 17, 2021

Most Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores are reported within 3-4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pools, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning on or after the week of June 27, 2021
If you need to receive Step 2 CK scores before August 25, 2021, the USMLE program recommends that you take the exam before Friday, June 25, 2021.
The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of June 27, 2021, through Friday, August 13, 2021, will be Wednesday, August 25, 2021.


Fee waiver for eligibility period extensions ends April 1, 2021

Posted: March 04, 2021

The sponsors of the USMLE program (Federation of State Medical Boards and NBME) waived fees for eligibility period extensions and testing region changes in March 2020, in response to concerns about COVID-19. In May 2020, the USMLE program further extended USMLE eligibility periods through June 30, 2021.

Beginning April 1, 2021, the temporary fee waiver for extensions to eligibility periods will end. Examinees who are unable to test in their currently assigned eligibility period may submit a request for a one-time, contiguous three-month extension for a fee through their registration entity on or after April 1, 2021.

  • Students and graduates of US and Canadian medical schools can submit requests for extensions for Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) eligibility periods here.
  • International medical graduates can submit requests for extensions for Step 1 and Step 2 CK eligibility periods here
  • All examinees can submit requests for extensions for Step 3 eligibility periods here.


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