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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.


USMLE scoring: An ongoing conversation

Posted: May 02, 2019

At the March 2019 Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS), stakeholders from organizations within the house of medicine discussed USMLE’s score reporting, both its primary use for licensure as well as secondary uses in undergraduate and graduate medical education. Read the latest update about the InCUS experience and timeline.


New videos: “Your USMLE Journey to Medical Licensure in the U.S.” and “Who is USMLE?”

Posted: April 19, 2019

Two new videos about the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program are now available for students, examinees, medical school faculty, and others.

Your USMLE Journey to Medical Licensure in the U.S.” looks at what is covered on each Step exam, using colorful scenes and visual elements.

Who is USMLE?”  features program volunteers and committee members who help develop the exams, discussing the perspectives and principles behind work on a licensure examination.. 

The new videos are a great way to quickly understand the   exams that comprise the three Steps of USMLE

In addition, the USMLE website now includes an easy to locate page for quick access to all videos and podcasts supporting program information.

Keep checking the USMLE Announcements section for news, videos, and podcasts to stay aware of program updates.


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