News

Possible Changes to USMLE Scores – Continuing the Discussion

A podcast featuring two members of the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS) planning committee, Dr. Michael Barone, Vice President of Licensure Programs for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), and Dave Johnson, Senior Vice President, Assessment Services for the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), is now available on the USMLE website. They discuss themes from the public comments, upcoming improvements to USMLE, and insight into the vision for the program.

You can listen to the podcast on the USMLE website here.

Computer-Assisted Scoring Coming to Step 2 CS

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program is committed to applying the best available technology and the most current assessment practices to ensure accuracy and validity for all its examination programs. Beginning October 2019, computer-assisted scoring technology will be used to score patient notes created by examinees for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination.

The use of computer-assisted scoring will not change the cost of the exam, nor the timing with which examinees receive their scores. The computer-assisted scoring program is based on the scoring rubrics developed by experienced physician note raters. For cases in which computer-assisted scoring is used, notes with machine scores below the 50th percentile in performance will also be scored by physician patient note raters. The machine scores and physician scores will then be averaged to produce the examinee’s score on the patient note portion of the Step 2 CS exam.

Much consideration has gone into the implementation of computer-assisted scoring. Most importantly, the crucial role of clinical judgment in the evaluation of Step 2 CS performances will be preserved. Second, the examinee experience will not be adversely affected. The expert judgment of physicians will be used on an ongoing basis for the development of patient note scoring guidelines and in the training of the computer-based scoring system.

Click here for FAQs related to computer-assisted scoring. To read more about NBME’s work with natural language processing, see a recent article in Academic Medicine here.

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.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable September 24

Due to required updates, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable for a brief period beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 7:00 p.m. on the same day. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this update period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling
  • IAN—IMG Advisors Network
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this update period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to provide high-quality on-line services.

Certain ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable September 20-21

Due to scheduled maintenance, certain ECFMG on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019. These services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

Update on Severe Weather and Step 2 CS Examinations at CSEC Test Center in Houston, Texas

As of 7:15 p.m., Central Time in the United States, the Houston, Texas, CSEC test center is operating normally. We expect USMLE Step 2 CS exams to be administered as scheduled on September 19, 2019. Please continue to check this webpage in case there are additional updates.

Thank you for your patience during this severe weather event.

Today’s Step 2 CS Exam Canceled in Houston, Texas, Due to Severe Weather

Due to severe weather that has caused a power outage at the Houston, Texas, test center, the USMLE Step 2 CS exam cannot be administered today, Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

The Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC), which administers the Step 2 CS exam, is in the process of contacting affected examinees and is monitoring power company information for ongoing updates. If you were scheduled to take Step 2 CS at the Houston test center today, September 18, 2019, a member of CSEC’s staff will contact you about rescheduling your exam.

At this time, administration of Step 2 CS is anticipated to resume in Houston on Thursday, September 19, 2019. Please check this webpage frequently for updates about tomorrow’s exam. We will post information as soon as it is available.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this severe weather event.

Steven D. Kirkpatrick Selected as Next ECFMG/FAIMER Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) announced today that Steven D. Kirkpatrick, CPA, has been selected as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. Mr. Kirkpatrick will join ECFMG/FAIMER on September 30, 2019, succeeding Dennis M. Donohue, CPA, MBA, MS. Mr. Kirkpatrick will serve as a member of the ECFMG/FAIMER Executive Leadership Team.

“Steve has an extraordinary talent for balancing strategic expansion with continued smooth operation of existing services in the health care space,” said William W. Pinsky, MD, ECFMG President & CEO and FAIMER Board Chair. “He is an invaluable addition to our Executive Leadership Team as we seek continued development of our services to promote quality medical education and health care around the world.”

Mr. Kirkpatrick’s extensive experience includes strategic development, operations, and financial management of hospital systems, physician networks, and life care. Before joining ECFMG/FAIMER, Mr. Kirkpatrick was Director of Finance for the Main Line HealthCare Physician Network, a multi-specialty network of 400 physicians and more than 100 Advanced Practitioners serving suburban Philadelphia. Prior to this, he held a number of executive leadership roles with Fornance Physician Services and the Montgomery Healthcare System supported by Fornance, including Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Fornance, President of Fornance, and Senior Vice President of the Montgomery Healthcare System. As Senior Vice President of Einstein Physicians, Mr. Kirkpatrick led the integration of Fornance Physician Services into the Einstein Healthcare Network. Mr. Kirkpatrick’s experience also includes fourteen years as a Senior Audit Manager for Ernst & Young, where he served health care, non-profit, and other clients. As part of his responsibilities at Ernst & Young, Mr. Kirkpatrick provided strategic financial consultation on debt and equity financing transactions, business combinations, and start-up organizations.

For the past 20 years, Mr. Kirkpatrick has volunteered for Waverly Heights, Ltd., a senior living community serving the Main Line Philadelphia suburbs, where his roles have included Director; Chair of the Audit Committee; and member of the Finance, Risk Management, and Foundation Committees. Since 2006, he has volunteered as a Trustee of The Walden School, an independent, Montessori-based preschool and elementary school in Media, Pennsylvania, where his past roles also include Vice President and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He also has served on the ECFMG/FAIMER Board of Trustees.

Mr. Kirkpatrick is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Medical Group Management Association. Mr. Kirkpatrick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware.

Step 1 and Step 2 CK – Score Delays in 2020

Most Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores are reported within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pools, delays occur for examinees who test at certain times of the year.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) has announced that examinees testing during the following dates may experience delays in score reporting:

  • Step 1 examinees testing early May through early July 2020 – more specific information will be posted January 2020
  • Step 2 CK examinees testing late June through late August 2020 – more specific information will be posted March 2020

Why is this important to know?

If you need to receive a score before a certain date, plan to take that exam before the projected score delay windows to avoid missing deadlines.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for more information.