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Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE)

Everything About United States Medical Licensing Examination

Date: 1-2-2021

USMLE stands for United States Medical Licensing Examination. It is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States for those who have completed their MD/MBBS.

Sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the exam assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles. It helps determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease which constitutes the basis of safe and effective patient care. 

About

All three steps of the USMLE exam must be passed before a physician with an M.D. degree is eligible to apply for an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States. Similarly, the students who have graduated from medical schools outside the US and Canada must pass all three steps of the USMLE to be licensed to practice in the US, regardless of the title of their degree.

Step 1 

USMLE Step 1 assesses whether medical school students or graduates understand and can apply important concepts of the basic sciences to the practice of medicine. It ensures mastery of the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.
 
Step 1 is constructed according to an integrated content outline that organizes basic science material along two dimensions: system and process. It includes the following subjects: Anatomy, Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and interdisciplinary topics such as nutrition, genetics, and aging.
 
It is a one-day examination. It is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one 8-hour testing session. The number of questions per block on a given examination form will be 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280. 
 
US medical students take Step 1 at the end of the Basic Sciences portion of the curriculum, usually after the second year of medical school. If the student passes the exam, he or she may not repeat it to achieve a higher score, and any failed attempt is permanently recorded. This situation of the Step 1 exam being a "one-time deal" is the reason it is broadly viewed as the most arduous and paramount examination a medical student ever sits during his or her career. Its three-digit result has substantial bearing on the specialties and location (tier of hospital) for which a residency applicant is competitive.
 
Step 2

USMLE Step 2 is designed to assess whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for provision of patient care under supervision. It includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
 
Step 2 CK is a one-day examination. It is divided into eight 60-minute blocks and administered in one 9-hour testing session. The number of questions per block on a given examination will vary but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination will not exceed 318.
 
The examination also includes a minimum allotment of 45 minutes of break time and a 15-minute optional tutorial. The amount of time available for breaks may be increased by finishing a block of test items or the optional tutorial before the allotted time expires.
 
US medical students typically take Step 2 between the third and fourth year of medical school. 
 
Step 3

USMLE Step 3 is the final exam in the USMLE sequence and assesses whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. It  emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings.
 
Examinees are tested on the following subjects: central nervous system, eye/ear/nose/mouth/throat, respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, behavioral/emotional disorders, musculoskeletal system, skin/subcutaneous tissue, endocrine/nutritional/metabolic disorders, kidneys/urinary tract, reproductive system, pregnancy/childbirth, neonate/childhood illnesses, blood and blood-forming organs, infectious/parasitic diseases, injuries/wound/toxic effects/burns, and health maintenance issues.
 
It is a two-day examination. The first day of testing includes 233 multiple-choice items divided into 6 blocks of 38-40 items; 60 minutes are allotted for completion of each block of test items. Items with an associated pharmaceutical advertisement or scientific abstract are included in each of these multiple-choice blocks. There are approximately 7 hours in the test session on the first day.
 
There are approximately 9 hours in the test session on the second day. This day of testing includes 180 multiple-choice items, divided into 6 blocks of 30 items; 45 minutes are allotted for completion of each block of test items. This is followed by 13 case simulations, each of which is allotted a maximum of 10 or 20 minutes of real time.
 
Graduates of US medical schools typically take this exam at the end of the first year of residency.
 
Test sites -

Officials conduct USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 in online mode.So, the exams can be taken at Prometric test centers worldwide but the aspirants need to appear for step 2 CS content via offline mode. 
 
Latest Updates -

You can get the latest USMLE updates from its official website. 
 
Conclusion -

The quality of life, salary and respect is very high for medical professionals in the USA. Therefore, USMLE exam is highly competitive though not as much as Indian NEET PG but surely a medical student needs to prepare early to pursue their dream profession in the USA.
 
Medical students need to be quite diligent in choosing their MBBS Universities as not all  medical institutes have the quality of education or even the resources to prepare them to practice their dream profession in the superpower of the world. At such scenarios, MBBS abroad seems an attractive option.
 
Contact trusted and authorized consultants like the education abroad for your smooth MBBS journey abroad.

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