USMLE Review Focuses on Patient Individuality

Mitigating bias and eliminating unjustified patient stereotypes are important initiatives in teaching, learning and assessment. Concerns about bias have been raised in the academic literature, the media, among students and faculty at schools of medicine, and by patients.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program remains cognizant of these topics. Characteristics of a patient such as age, sex, gender identity, and occupation are sometimes mentioned within the case vignettes in test items. Some patient characteristics may be important inputs into the diagnostic reasoning process. Others may lead to incorrect conclusions and misdiagnoses. Among the latter are characteristics associated with harmful patient stereotypes.

The USMLE program treats race as a social construct not linked to biology or susceptibility to disease. This is similarly true of ethnicity and “culture” or heritage. Ancestry, if known, may be biologically important, and thus may be relevant to factors relating to health and disease. In addition, when and if these characteristics are to be considered they should be considered on the basis of patient self-report, not the assumption of a health care provider. The USMLE program views patients as individuals, just as medical practice should and does.

Examinees should refer to the full announcement on the USMLE website.

USMLE Score Reporting Schedule

Scores for all United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step examinations will be released as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Scores for all USMLE Step examinations will also be released on Tuesday, December 24, 2019.

Only Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) score reports will be released on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

All USMLE scores will be released as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Step 3 – Delay in Score Reporting

If you need to receive Step 3 scores before March 25, 2020, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) recommends that you take the exam no later than December 31, 2019.

Most Step 3 scores are reported within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test in early 2020. The target date for reporting Step 3 scores for examinees testing in January and February 2020 is Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

No USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examinations will be administered January 1-14, 2020.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

USMLE Score Reporting Schedule

USMLE scores will be released as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) score reports only will be released on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

Regularly scheduled score reporting for all USMLE exams will resume Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Final Diagnosis Screen Removed from USMLE Step 3 CCS Cases

Step 3 examinees will no longer be asked to enter information regarding a final diagnosis before ending a computer-based case simulation (CCS) case. Most examinees who test on or after January 1, 2019 will not see the final diagnosis screen at the end of a CCS case. Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks.

This change does not affect the scoring of the CCS cases in any way. Final diagnoses have never been used in scoring an examinee performance.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Updated Practice and Informational Materials for the Step 3 Examination Now Available on the USMLE Website

Examinees planning to take the USMLE Step 3 examination should read the new materials and practice with the sample items on the USMLE website. They include:

New this year: A brief video tutorial demonstrating the features and functionalities found in Primum®, the software with which examinees interact during the computer-based case simulations (CCS) part of the Step 3 exam.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

New Score Report Format – USMLE Step 3 Examination

The USMLE Step 3 examination score report has been redesigned to reflect both advances in the underlying science of assessment and changes to the USMLE program over time.  Examinees testing on or after October 1, 2018 will receive score reports in the new format.

The redesigned report features a chart showing an examinee’s performance compared with recent first-time takers from U.S. and Canadian medical schools, the examinee’s performance in individual content areas relative to their overall Step 3 performance, and information about the allocation of items across each content area.

Examinees should refer to the full announcement on the USMLE website.

Step 3 – Delay in Score Reporting in 2019

If you need to receive Step 3 scores before March 27, 2019 USMLE recommends that you take the exam no later than December 31, 2018.

Most Step 3 scores are reported 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 who test in early 2019. The target date for reporting Step 3 scores for examinees testing in January and February 2019 is Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

No USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examinations will be administered January 1-14, 2019.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.