Overview

For all Applicants


IMPORTANT: You must become familiar with the information referenced in this Bulletin if you are an applicant with an eligibility period in 2017. If your eligibility period extends into 2018 and you test in 2018, you must become familiar with and will be subject to the policies and procedures detailed in the 2018 Bulletin of Information (BOI). If changes in the USMLE program occur after the release of this BOI, they will be effective when posted on the USMLE website. You are responsible for checking the USMLE website for updates and changes to the USMLE policies and procedures


IMPORTANT: If you are a student or graduate of a medical school outside the US or Canada with an eligibility period in 2017, in addition to becoming familiar with this BOI, you must also be familiar with the contents of the 2017 Information Booklet published by the ECFMG. If your eligibility period extends into 2018 and you test in 2018, you must become familiar with and will be subject to the policies and procedures detailed in the ECFMG 2018 Information Booklet. The ECFMG Information Booklet is available on the ECFMG website. Students and graduates of medical schools outside of the US and Canada are responsible for monitoring the ECFMG website to ensure they understand current ECFMG policies and procedures, including any changes.

Continue to: Purpose and Mission of the USMLE »

Purpose and Mission of the USMLE


The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States and is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®). The USMLE program supports medical licensing authorities in the United States through its leadership in the development, delivery, and continual improvement of high-quality assessments across the continuum of physicians’ preparation for practice.

Continue to: Examination Committees »

Examination Committees


Examination committees, composed of medical educators and clinicians, create the examination materials. Committee members broadly represent the teaching, practice, and licensing communities across the United States. At least two committees critically appraise each test item or case, revising or discarding any materials that are in doubt.

Continue to: Ownership and Copyright »

Ownership and Copyright of Examination Materials


The examination materials in the USMLE are the confidential, copyrighted property of the USMLE program. If you reproduce and/or distribute any examination materials, by any means, including by memorizing and reconstructing them, you are violating the legal rights of the USMLE program. The USMLE program will use every legal means available to protect the copyrighted materials and secure redress against those who violate copyright law.

Continue to: The USMLE: Purpose, Test Format, and Test Lengths »

The USMLE: Purpose, Test Format, and Test Lengths




STEP & PURPOSE

FORMAT

LENGTH (including breaks)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

STEP 1 assesses the examinee’s understanding and ability to apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy.

* Approximately 280 multiple-choice questions, divided into seven 60-minute blocks

* Computer based – administered at Prometric Test Centers around the world

* One day test session

    – eight hours

For more information on Step 1, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit the http://www.usmle.org/step-1/#overview

STEP 2 assesses the examinee’s ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision, with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.

The clinical skills examination is a separate component of STEP 2 and uses standardized patients to test examinees on their ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues.

Clinical Knowledge (CK)

* Approximately 318 multiple-choice questions, divided into eight 60-minute blocks

* Computer based – administered at Prometric Test Centers around the world

Clinical Skills (CS)

* 12 patient cases: 15 minutes for each patient encounter plus 10 minutes to record each patient note (PN)

* Administered at six test centers in the US – Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia(2)

* One day test session

    – nine hours

* One day test session

    – eight hours

For more information on Step 2CK, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit http://www.usmle.org/step-2-ck

For more information on Step 2 CS, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit http://www.usmle.org/step-2-cs

STEP 3 assesses the examinee's ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings.

Day 1: FOUNDATIONS OF INDEPENDENT PRACTICE (FIP) assesses the examinee’s knowledge of basic medical and scientific principles essential for effective health care.

Day 2: ADVANCED CLINICAL MEDICINE (ACM) assesses the examinee’s ability to apply comprehensive knowledge of health and disease in the context of patient management and the evolving manifestation of disease over time.

Day 1 (FIP):

* Approximately 235 multiple-choice test questions, divided into six 60-minute blocks, each containing approximately 44 questions

* Computer based – administered at Prometric Test Centers in the US.

Day 2 (ACM):

* Approximately 180 multiple-choice test questions, divided into six 45-minute blocks, each containing approximately 33 questions

* Thirteen computer-based case simulations (CCS). Each simulation is allotted a maximum of 10 or 20 minutes of real time

* Computer based – administered at Prometric Test Centers in the US.

* One day test session

    – seven hours

* One day test session

    – nine hours

For more information on Step 3, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit http://www.usmle.org/step-3