Filed under: Step 2 CK
As noted in the USMLE Bulletin of Information, the level of proficiency required to meet the recommended minimum passing level for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted on the USMLE website.
An announcement on the Step 2 Committee’s review of the minimum passing score for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) has been posted on the USMLE website. Examinees should read the full announcement and monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.
International medical students/graduates and graduates of Fifth Pathway programs who plan to participate in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) 2014 Main Residency MatchSM (in March 2014) are reminded that they must take Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) by December 31, 2013. As published in the 2013 Schedule for Reporting Step 2 CS Results, if you do not take Step 2 CS by December 31, 2013, your result will not be available in time to participate in the 2014 Match.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This deadline applies only to participation in the 2014 Main Residency Match. For information on deadlines to participate in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance ProgramSM (SOAPSM), monitor the NRMP website.
If you need to pass Step 2 CS to participate in the 2014 Match, you are strongly encouraged to apply for Step 2 CS now. If you do not register early and schedule a test date as soon as possible, you may not be able to obtain a test date in 2013.
At the time of this writing, the earliest available test date at any test center is in August 2013. Traditionally, there has been high demand for testing dates during the second half of the year. Additionally, test sessions at all test centers may be subject to scheduling restrictions that may limit the number of test dates available to you.
To maximize your chances of obtaining a test date in 2013, apply for Step 2 CS now, provided you meet the eligibility requirements. Once registered, schedule your testing appointment as soon as possible. Early registration and scheduling may offer a number of benefits. If you plan to apply for Step 2 CS, you should consider the following:
- Step 2 CS sessions are opened 8 to 10 months in advance.
- Applicants registered for Step 2 CS can schedule and take the exam during the 12-month eligibility period that follows their registration. By registering early, applicants increase the likelihood they will be able to obtain a testing appointment for a preferred date/test center.
- Applicants who schedule a testing appointment can change the testing appointment without cost, provided they give more than 14 days’ notice. See Rescheduling in the ECFMG Information Booklet.
- Applicants who take Step 2 CS earlier in the year and receive a failing result are more likely to have the opportunity to retake the exam in 2013 and receive their result in time to participate in the 2014 Match.
Updated information on Step 2 CS scheduling will be posted to the USMLE and ECFMG websites as it becomes available.
Additional Important Reminders for Step 2 CS Examinees
Individuals planning to take Step 2 CS should monitor the ECFMG and USMLE websites for other important updates. As a reminder, the following are some of the USMLE Program’s recent updates on Step 2 CS.
Test-taking Reminders for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Examinees
Change in the Performance Standard of the Step 2 CS Examination that Will Affect Examinees Testing on or after January 1, 2013
Clarification on Completing the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Patient Note
Filed under: General
ECFMG’s nonprofit foundation, the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®), will sponsor representatives of up to five selected education innovation projects to attend the Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) conference. A new highlight of the 2013 Network conference will feature “Projects That Work” – that is, education innovation projects at health professions institutions that have survived beyond initial implementation and have had a significant positive impact on health, the community, or the school over three or more years. A plenary panel during the conference will provide representatives of a few outstanding examples of such projects with an opportunity to tell their stories so that others can learn from their successes. Projects that exemplify the conference theme of “Rural and Community Based Healthcare” will be of particular interest.
The 2013 Network conference will be held November 16-20 in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Sponsorship includes air travel, hotel accommodation, and conference registration fee. Applications must be submitted to FAIMER by May 15, 2013. To submit a project description and apply for sponsorship, click here.
Each month, the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO) publishes free resources for ECFMG-certified physicians, and those about to be certified, who are planning their careers.
ECHO is pleased to announce that the following are now available.
- Have you wondered how physicians can use social media appropriately? We reached out to Humayun J. Chaudhry, D.O., an expert on the topic of social media to find out more about how physicians can use social media while maintaining their professionalism. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) of the United States, Inc., Dr. Chaudhry provides valuable insights into this issue. Learn more in Ask the Experts: Physicians and Appropriate Use of Social Media.
- The results of the 2013 National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match℠ are in! Are you curious about how IMGs performed? Check out IMG Performance in the 2013 Match for data at a glance and links to where you can learn more about the results.
The Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) is a powerful, new on-line tool from ECFMG. EPIC enables you to create a digital portfolio of your primary-source verified credentials related to your medical education, training, and registration/licensure. Through EPIC, you can send reports demonstrating the authenticity of your credentials to any organization, anywhere in the world, throughout your career. View our resource Introducing EPICSM ―A Powerful and Innovative Career Development Tool for the World’s Physicians to learn more about the special benefits EPIC has for ECFMG-certified physicians.
In addition to providing valuable resources, ECHO offers certified physicians ways to stay connected with ECFMG and its expertise. Through ECHO, certified physicians can also connect with information from other organizations and experts, and each other. ECHO offers new ways for certified physicians to communicate with ECFMG, for example, by participating in ECHO’s monthly surveys and sending feedback to ECHO.
For more information, visit the ECHO section of the ECFMG website at www.ecfmg.org/echo.
Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 6:00 p.m. on April 19, 2013 through approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 21, 2013. ECFMG’s phone services will also be unavailable during this time. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.
During this maintenance period, you will not be able to access any of ECFMG’s on-line services. For more information on the services that will be unavailable during this maintenance period, visit the On-line Services Overview page.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.
ECFMG and other leading national physician education and assessment organizations announced today their partnership to launch the Data Commons, LLC. The Data Commons, an information-sharing company, is developing a system that could revolutionize the way in which researchers, policy makers, analysts, and other data users access and analyze data on physicians and other health care professionals.
The core of this new system is a secure data hub that will allow multiple organizations to make available selected information from their individual databases. The ability to access data more efficiently, and the ability to combine data sets in new ways, will have a positive impact on research efforts.
ECFMG is pleased to play a fundamental role in this initiative that has the potential to advance scientific knowledge, enhance patient safety, and improve medical quality, all of which are essential to furthering ECFMG’s mission to promote quality health care.
Today, ECFMG launched a powerful and innovative tool for the world’s physicians and the entities worldwide responsible for evaluating physician credentials. The Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC℠) enables physicians to build a digital career portfolio of primary-source verified medical credentials and to request those credentials, and reports verifying their authenticity, for any organization, anywhere in the world.
EPIC enables physicians to:
- upload credentials related to their medical education, training, and registration/licensure
- have those credentials primary-source verified by ECFMG
- request to have reports verifying the authenticity of those credentials sent electronically to any organization, anywhere in the world
- maintain a web-based portfolio of credentials that is convenient, secure, and affordable
For the world’s medical regulatory authorities, hospitals, medical schools, and training programs that receive these reports, EPIC is a powerful new tool in fulfilling their missions to serve and protect their constituents. EPIC provides these organizations with:
- the confidence of knowing the authenticity of a physician’s credentials has been verified using ECFMG’s rigorous and internationally respected primary-source verification process
- the security of receiving verifications directly from ECFMG
- the ability to assure constituents and the public that their vetting process is world-class—that they are employing the best practice of primary-source verification
- access to credentials and reports at no cost
For more than 25 years, ECFMG has employed primary-source verification of physician credentials, a process that includes verifying the authenticity of a document directly with the institution that issued it. ECFMG’s expertise in this area has long been available to organizations through its Certification Program and the ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS). For the first time, EPIC makes this service available to individual physicians.
For more information or to start using EPIC, visit the EPIC website at http://www.ecfmgepic.org.
Filed under: ERAS 2013
Please note that you can no longer use ECFMG’s OASIS to request a Token for the ERAS 2013 season. If a program requests you to submit an ERAS application for the 2013 season and you do not already have a 2013 Token, please call (215) 966-3520 to reach an ERAS Support Services representative to request a 2013 Token.
For the remainder of the ERAS 2013 season, new users will only be able to register with AAMC’s MyERAS website on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States. Once registered, MyERAS users will have access to MyERAS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for periods of site maintenance.
If you plan to apply to a residency position that starts on July 1, 2014, you can request a 2014 Token via ECFMG’s OASIS starting at the end of June, 2013.
Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees testing beginning the week of May 13th. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 13th through late June will be Wednesday, July 10, 2013. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 10, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 10, 2013.
Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.
Filed under: 2013 Information Booklet Updates, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 3, USMLE Score Reporting
As previously reported in 2011, the USMLE® program began the process of eliminating the reporting of results on the 2-digit score scale to parties other than the examinee and any state licensing authority to which the examinee sends results. This process began on July 1, 2011 with elimination of 2-digit scores from USMLE transcripts reported through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®).
The USMLE program will extend this change in reporting to include all score recipients (e.g., examinees, state medical boards). This means that scores on the 2-digit scale will no longer be calculated or reported. The USMLE Program expects to eliminate the 2-digit score on or about April 1, 2013. This change pertains to the Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 examinations only; Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) will continue to be reported as pass or fail with no numeric score.
The full announcement is available on the USMLE website.
More about the 2-digit Score and Its Elimination
The following may be helpful in understanding the change in USMLE procedures for reporting scores, described above.
Why is the USMLE Program eliminating the 2-digit score?
The 2-digit score can be subject to misinterpretation. Some have interpreted it as a percentile (an indication of how an examinee’s performance compares to the performance of other examinees who took the same exam administration). Others have interpreted it as a percentage (an indication of how many questions an examinee answered correctly during an exam administration). The 2-digit score is neither of these things.
Additionally, unlike the 3-digit score, the 2-digit score does not allow reasonable comparisons over time. This may create challenges for score users that attempt to compare 2-digit scores that span several years. To eliminate the misuse of and confusion surrounding the 2-digit scale, the USMLE Composite Committee, the body that governs USMLE, decided that it should no longer be calculated or reported. Additional information about the relationship between the 2-digit and 3-digit score scales is available on the USMLE website.
Does this change apply to all USMLE examinations?
This change applies to Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 3 only, since numeric scores are reported for these exams. It does not apply to Step 2 CS. Performance on Step 2 CS will continue to be reported as pass or fail with no numeric score.
Once this change takes effect, who will have access to 2-digit scores?
No one will have access to 2-digit scores. Beginning on the effective date of this change:
- The USMLE Program will no longer report 2-digit scores to examinees on their exam score reports.
- Two-digit scores will not be reported to any third parties via USMLE transcripts. This means that recipients of USMLE transcripts, including graduate medical education programs and state medical boards in the United States, will not receive 2-digit scores. This is true for all USMLE exam administrations, regardless of when the exam administration took place and regardless of whether a 2-digit score was reported previously.
- Two-digit scores will no longer be calculated. As a result, the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®), the entity responsible for scoring USMLE exams, will not be able to provide 2-digit scores. The entities responsible for registering examinees for USMLE and reporting their scores, including ECFMG and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), will not be able to provide 2-digit scores.
Why does the USMLE transcript I requested in April 2013 look different from the transcript I requested in December 2012, when it includes results for the same exam administration(s)?
Effective on or about April 1, 2013, the USMLE Program will stop calculating and reporting 2-digit scores. Two-digit scores reported before the effective date of this change will no longer be reported. As a result, a transcript issued prior to the effective date will include 2-digit scores for administrations of Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3, while a transcript issued after the effective date will include only 3-digit scores for the same exam administrations.
Understanding the 3-digit Score
The elimination of the 2-digit score does not change the reporting or interpretation of results on the 3-digit scale. While the following information is not new, it may be helpful in understanding the 3-digit score.
What is the 3-digit score?
Since its beginning in the 1990s, the USMLE Program has reported scores for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 on a 3-digit scale. When an examinee tests, the number of items the examinee answers correctly is converted to a score on the 3-digit scale. The 3-digit scale is considered the primary score reporting scale for USMLE exams.
What are the minimum passing scores for the exams?
The USMLE Program recommends a minimum passing level of proficiency for each exam. For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3, the USMLE Program sets a minimum passing score on the 3-digit scale. For the current minimum passing scores, visit Scores & Transcripts on the USMLE website.
The USMLE Program reviews the minimum passing level for each exam every three to four years. Since this process may result in changes, the minimum passing score for a given exam, expressed on the 3-digit scale, may change over time. The recommended minimum passing level in place on the day an examinee sits for an examination will be the level used for scoring purposes. Monitor the USMLE website for information on review of and changes to the minimum passing scores for USMLE exams.
How can I tell how well I did on the examination? How much better than passing did I do?
Your score report will include the 3-digit minimum passing score that applies to the exam administration.
On the 3-digit scale, most scores on Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 fall between 140 and 260. The mean score for first-time examinees from accredited medical school programs in the United States is in the range of 215 to 235, and the standard deviation is approximately 20. If your score is in the range of 215 to 235, your performance is on par with the average first-time examinee from an accredited medical school program in the United States. Your score report will include the mean and standard deviation for recent administrations of the examination.
Your score report will also include graphical performance profiles that summarize relative areas of strength and weakness to aid in self-assessment. The profiles are accompanied by further information on what they mean and how to interpret them.
More information on scores and score interpretation is available on the Scores FAQs page of the USMLE website at http://www.usmle.org/frequently-asked-questions/#scores.
How will U.S. GME programs be able to evaluate my 3-digit score?
The 3-digit score scale is the primary score reporting scale and has been used since the USMLE Program was established in the early 1990s. Unlike the 2-digit score, the 3-digit score is calculated using statistical procedures that ensure that scores from different years are on a common scale and have the same meaning. This means that GME programs can use the 3-digit score to make reasonable comparisons of examinees who tested at different times. Information on the meaning and interpretation of the three-digit score is included with USMLE transcripts, is available on the USMLE website, and is provided in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.