United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

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USMLE 2015


United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three step examination for medical license in United States. This license is issued by the State Medical board of the various jurisdictions to practice medicine. Each medical licensing authority has its own rules and regulations and requires passing an examination that exhibits qualification for license. USMLE provides a common evaluation system for candidates for medical license.

International Medical Graduates who have completed their MBBS and want to complete their residency in USA must have to apply for the USMLE. The applications of foreign nationals (other than USA) are watched by Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

USMLE Exam Process

The candidate applying for USMLE has to go through three steps of USMLE exam to get the license by applying knowledge, concepts and principles in relation to patient care.

Step 1: This step makes sure mastery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present. It assesses whether medical school graduate knows and can apply important concepts of science basic to the practice of medicine with special significance on mechanisms and principles underlying health, disease and modes of therapy.

Step 2: This step assesses whether medical school graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision, with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. This step has two part Clinical Skills (CS) and Clinical Knowledge (CK)

Step 3: This is the final step of USMIL exam designed to assess whether medical school students or graduates can 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.

Note: The examination should be completed within a seven-year period in order to obtain a medical license, and not more than 6 attempts to pass each step are allowed.

USMLE Eligibility

The candidates must be in one of the given categories to apply for the Examination:

For STEP 1 and STEP 2

  • Medical student officially enrolled in a US or Canadian medical school program leading to the MD degree that is qualified by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) OR medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US medical school leading to the DO degree that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Medical student officially enrolled in a medical school outside the United States and Canada who meets the eligibility criteria of the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

For STEP 3

  • Student should have MD degree or the DO degree or equivalent from a medical school in US or outside the US that is listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED),
  • One must have passed Step 1, Step 2 CK and CS
  • Candidate must have certification by the ECFMG (in case of international medical graduate) or successfully complete a “Fifth Pathway” program

How to apply

Below is how to register for the USMLE for both students from US or Canada and International medical students:

For US or Canada: Students of medical schools located outside the US and Canada can apply for Step 1, Step 2 CK and CS through Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) on IWA (Interactive Web Applications). Candidates can register at: www.fsmb.org/

For International medical Students: International medical students who wish to apply for USMLE have to apply through ECFMG. They have to submit an application for ECFMG Certification before they can apply for examination. Candidates can get the application for ECFMG Certification on-line available through ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA). Candidates can register at: www.ecfmg.org/

For further more details for USMLE candidates can visit: www.usmle.org/

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