Overview

For all Applicants


Cautions:

  • You must become familiar with the information referenced in this Bulletin if you are an applicant with an eligibility period in 2019. If your eligibility period crosses into the next calendar year (ie, 2020), please note that you are responsible for reading and abiding by the policies and procedures described in both years’ editions of the USMLE BOI.
  • If your eligibility period` extends into 2020 and you test in 2020, you must become familiar with and will be subject to the policies and procedures in the 2020 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.
  • If you are a student or graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada with an eligibility period in 2019, in addition to becoming familiar with this BOI, you must also be familiar with the contents of the 2019 Information Booklet published by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates® (ECFMG®).
  • If you are a student or graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada and your eligibility period extends into 2020 and you test in 2020, you must become familiar with and will be subject to the policies and procedures in the ECFMG 2020 Information Booklet.
  • The ECFMG Information Booklet is available on the ECFMG website. Students and graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada are responsible for monitoring the ECFMG website to ensure they understand current ECFMG policies and procedures.

This BOI provides you with the information needed to complete each of the Steps of the USMLE. Please read it carefully and regularly check the USMLE website for announcements. By using this guide and our website, you will learn what to expect from each USMLE Step.

Continue to: Purpose and Mission of the USMLE »

Purpose and Mission of the USMLE


The USMLE is a three-Step examination for medical licensure in the United States. It is sponsored by the FSMB and the NBME. The USMLE program 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.

Why is the USMLE Important?


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.

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 of experts critically appraise each test question or case and revise or discard any materials that are outdated or inconsistent with current medical practice.

Continue to: Prepare »

How to Prepare


Sample items are available free of charge on the USMLE website under the section titled Practice Materials. You may also purchase an at-home online self-assessment by visiting the Students & Residents section of the NBME website. Practice materials and self-assessments are available to all USMLE examinees.

Continue to: How to Register »

How to Register


To apply for USMLE examinations, you must submit an application through the appropriate organization. Appointments at some test centers fill up quickly. Examinees are encouraged to schedule at their preferred test center as soon as they have received their scheduling permit.

Continue to: Test Locations »

Where is the USMLE Test Administered?


The Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 examinations are computer-based tests that are administered at Prometric Centers, which are located around the world. Visit the Prometric website to find the test center closest to you. The Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination is administered at six testing centers across the US. More information about CS centers can be found on the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) website.

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 of and ability to apply important concepts of the basic sciences 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 examinations are administered at Prometric Test Centers around the world

* One-day test session

    – Approximately eight hours

For more information on Step 1, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit the USMLE website.

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 316 multiple-choice questions, divided into eight 60-minute blocks

* Computer-based examinations are 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)

* Composed of three subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE), and Spoken English Proficiency (SEP). For more information, see pages 10 and 11 of the Step 2 CS Content Description and General

* One-day test session

    – Approximately nine hours

* One-day test session

    – Approximately eight hours

For more information on Step 2CK, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit the USMLE website.

For more information on Step 2 CS, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit the USMLE website.

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 233 multiple- choice test questions, divided into six 60-minute blocks, each containing approximately 40 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 30 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

    – Approximately seven hours

* One-day test session

    – Approximately nine hours

For more information on Step 3, including applications, practice materials, and updates, visit the USMLE website.

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: Social Media »

Social Media


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