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Updated Prometric procedures - 4/23/2020

Posted: April 23, 2020

Prometric announced their extended closure of test centers until May 31, 2020 with the exception of a limited set of essential services programs. USMLE is considered an essential program, and certain centers will still be able to resume testing in accordance with local social distancing guidelines on May 1, 2020. More information about Prometric’s updated procedures, including enhanced test center measures, can be found on their website. To conform with social distancing guidelines and keep separation between examinees, there will be a reduction of active workstations in Prometric testing rooms. To do this, Prometric plans to cancel a significant number of upcoming scheduled appointments. Their statement explains that random selection of canceled appointments will occur, and impacted candidates will be notified by Prometric starting today.

Prometric plans to expand testing capacity through increased test center hours and days of operation. Please keep checking their website for updates, and we will continue to share new information.

The USMLE program extended eligibility periods to December 2020 for all examinees who had a USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 3, or USMLE Practice Session scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020, regardless of the country in which they are testing.  We will continue this process for any newly issued scheduling permits. Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action from examinees.

We recognize the stress and uncertainty of this situation as many assessment programs are impacted by the backlog of examinees and the reduction of testing capacity at Prometric centers. We are actively working with the medical education and regulation community to mitigate the impact of testing disruption for U.S. and international medical students and graduates.


California and Texas Regional Testing Centers

Posted: May 28, 2020

Last week, we announced three regional testing centers at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine, and the Indiana University School of Medicine.  

Additional regional testing centers will open at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine and the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas (UT) at Austin
. Administrations of Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) are scheduled to begin at UCSF on June 8, 2020 and at UT at Austin on June 9, 2020. At this time, each regional testing center will only serve students from a consortium of schools:

UCSF School of Medicine (host school)

  • University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
  • University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine
  • University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine

Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin (host school)

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine
  • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health San Antonio
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine

Students from these schools will be contacted by their medical school Dean’s Office (Student Affairs). Students should wait to hear from their Deans before taking any action to schedule or cancel a Prometric test center appointment. The institutions’ Dean’s Offices, in collaboration with Prometric and the USMLE program, will schedule eligible students for USMLE testing.

We greatly appreciate the collaboration with the leadership of all the schools involved in regional testing as the work to operationalize centers using Prometric equipment is very complex. Next week, we will share more information about phase two of our plans to expand testing capacity in a greater manner, which involves event-based testing at medical schools.


USMLE Suspending Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination

Posted: May 26, 2020

Over the course of the last three months, the USMLE program has considered several options for resuming Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) testing. This exploration was informed by years of ongoing work charting the future of clinical skills assessment for licensure, including considerations of telehealth (as announced on May 8th). Since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, we have accelerated these efforts. Due to the complexity of technical and psychometric work required, we have determined we will not be able to meet timelines for the immediate release of a revised exam. In making this determination to suspend, we also considered the examinees and stakeholder concerns about the challenges created by rapid deployment of a new test platform. After careful consideration of all factors, we have decided to suspend Step 2 CS test administrations for the next 12-18 months.

We remain committed to the valid, standardized measurement of clinical skills for licensure. We will take this time to determine the optimal approach to do so without compromising the health and safety of examinees and test center staff. While many details surrounding this decision are still being finalized, we felt it was important to share this information with you as soon as we determined our change in direction. We will be providing refunds for all of those who were unable to take Step 2 CS due to the suspension of testing and will work to expedite these refunds. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing more detailed information on what this decision will mean for examinees, e.g., refunds, progression through education/training and medical licensure.


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