USMLE takes action against individuals found to have engaged in Irregular Behavior
Posted: November 07, 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 (including the solicitation of exam content via online web forums)
- communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with other examinees (including the sharing of examination content via online web forums and file sharing websites)
- applying for and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
- accessing unauthorized items, equipment, or materials while on an unauthorized break
- making notes on test day on something other than the writing materials provided by test center staff
- 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 5 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 26, 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.
UPDATE - Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills minimum passing performance
Posted: January 24, 2017
Updated: April 19, 2017
Because severe winter weather resulted in cancellation and rescheduling of one of the standard setting panels that review test content for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination, dates for the review by the USMLE Management Committee and for possible changes in the recommended minimum passing requirements to take effect have changed. Please see below for new dates.
The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring these standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every three to four years.
For the 2017 Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:
- Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three groups of physicians who have not previously participated in USMLE test committees;
- Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., samples of examinees, state licensing representatives, medical school faculty) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations;
- Trends in examinee performance;
- Score precision and its effect on the pass/fail outcome.
The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing requirements for the USMLE Step 2 CS examination at its July 29 - August 1 meeting (originally scheduled for May 2017).
If the Committee determines that a change is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing requirements will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CS examination on or after September 10, 2017 (originally July 16, 2017.)
The decision of the Committee will be posted on the USMLE website immediately following the July 29 - August 1 meeting.
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