About the USMLE and Why It's Important

The USMLE is a highly reliable and relevant three-Step examination for medical licensure in the United States. It is sponsored by the FSMB and NBME. The USMLE assesses an examinee’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills. These skills constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Health care consumers throughout the nation enjoy a high degree of confidence that doctors who have passed all three Steps of the USMLE have met a common standard.

The USMLE supports medical licensing authorities and physicians in the United States through development, delivery and continual improvement of high-quality assessments across the continuum of physicians’ preparation for practice. 

State medical boards use USMLE outcomes to inform licensure decisions and to help achieve their mission of public protection. The USMLE program adheres to professional testing standards to provide fairness and equity to examinees, while identifying important information to medical regulators.

To learn more, visit the USMLE website.

Examination Committees

Examination committees, composed of several hundred volunteer medical educators and clinicians, as well as several public members, create, review and update the examination materials each year. Committee members broadly represent the teaching, practice and licensing communities across the United States in terms of medical specialty, gender, race/ethnicity, years of experience and geographic region. At least two interdisciplinary committees of experts critically appraise each test question or case and revise or discard any materials that are outdated or inconsistent with current medical practice. These volunteers are also involved in its design, development and continuous improvement.

Ownership and Copyright of Examination Materials

Examination materials 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.