News

Step 2 CK – Change in Number of Items and Schedule for Score Reporting

Starting in early August, 2012, the number of items on the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination will change. Although the change will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where this takes longer to complete. The overall transition period should last approximately 6 weeks.

Score reports for Step 2 CK are usually available within four weeks of testing. However, because of the change described above, as well as routine modifications to the test item pool, score reporting for most Step 2 CK examinations administered in August will take longer. The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing in August is Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.

Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) Minimum Passing Score

As stated 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.

ECFMG Introduces a New E-newsletter for International Medical Schools

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is pleased to announce the launch of Focus, a new e-newsletter specifically for the Deans, faculty, and staff of international medical schools. Last week, more than 3,000 international medical school representatives received the inaugural issue of this informative new publication, which included articles on efforts to advance accreditation of international medical schools, the pilot of ECFMG’s program to electronically verify the medical education credentials of international medical students/graduates who apply to ECFMG, and programs available to schools through the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP).

Read the press release.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable April 28, 2012

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 7:30 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 28, 2012. 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.

IMGs Participating in 2013 Match Should Apply for Step 2 CS Now

International medical students/graduates and graduates of Fifth Pathway programs who plan to participate in the 2013 Main Residency Match (in March 2013) are reminded that they must take Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) by December 31, 2012. As published in the 2012 Schedule for Reporting Step 2 CS Results, if you do not take Step 2 CS by December 31, 2012, your result will not be available in time to participate in the 2013 Match.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This deadline applies only to participation in the 2013 Main Residency Match. For information on deadlines to participate in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), monitor the NRMP website.

If you need to pass Step 2 CS to participate in the 2013 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 2012.

At the time of this writing, the earliest available test date at any test center is in August 2012. Traditionally, there has been high demand for testing dates during the second half of the year. Due to planned changes in the Step 2 CS exam, there will be no Step 2 CS examinations from May 20, 2012 through June 16, 2012; as a result of these changes, the interval between testing and score reporting for examinees testing from June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012 will be 2-3 weeks longer than for examinees testing during other periods. 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 2012, 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 10 to 12 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 2012 and receive their result in time to participate in the 2013 Match.

Updated information on Step 2 CS scheduling will be posted to the ECFMG website as it becomes available. Individuals planning to take Step 2 CS should monitor the ECFMG and USMLE websites for the latest information.

IMG Performance in the 2012 Match

For the tenth consecutive year, the number of first-year (PGY-1) residency positions offered through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Main Residency Match increased. A total of 24,034 first-year positions were offered in the 2012 Match. This represents an increase of 613 positions compared to last year and an increase of more than 3,400 positions since 2002.

The number of IMGs, including Fifth Pathway participants, who matched to first-year positions increased by 260 compared to 2011. Of the 11,134 IMGs who participated in the 2012 Match, 4,886 (43.9%) matched. In the 2011 Match, 4,626 (44.2%) IMGs were matched to first-year positions.

Of the 6,828 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 2,775 (40.6%) obtained first-year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions in 2012 increased by 54, after declining for the two previous years.

Of the 4,279 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 2,102 (49.1%) were matched to first-year positions, an increase of 218 over last year. This is the ninth consecutive year that there has been an increase in the number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions.

Of the 27 Fifth Pathway participants in the Match, 9 (33.3%) were matched to first-year positions.

It is important to note that the total number of IMGs who will fill PGY-1 positions for the 2012-2013 academic year will be higher than the number obtaining positions through the 2012 Match. Although the majority of PGY-1 positions in the United States are filled through the Match, a significant number of IMG applicants obtain positions outside of the Match. For example, while 4,686 IMGs obtained PGY-1 positions through the 2010 Match, 7,023 IMGs entered PGY-1 for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The 7,023 IMGs entering PGY-1 for the 2010-2011 academic year is a decrease of 312 from the prior year but an increase of 950 since the 2002-2003 academic year.

About the Match

The annual NRMP Match is the system by which applicants are matched with available residency positions in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs. Participants submit to the NRMP a list of residency programs, in order of preference. Ranked lists of preferred residency candidates are likewise submitted by U.S. GME programs with available positions. The matching of applicants to available positions is performed by computer algorithm. The Match results announced in March of each year are for GME programs that typically begin the following July.

Additional Resources on the Match and Match Results

The preceding data are taken from the Advance Data Tables for the 2012 Main Residency Match compiled by the NRMP. These tables provide detailed information on the positions offered and filled by the Match in 2012 and prior years. To access these tables, or to obtain further information on the NRMP, visit www.nrmp.org.

The June issue of Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, usually offers an analysis of Match results from the preceding March. For more information, visit your medical school’s library or www.academicmedicine.org.

The September issue of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association traditionally provides an in-depth analysis of graduate medical education in the United States. This analysis includes the number of IMGs entering and continuing in U.S. GME programs and a breakdown of IMG resident physicians by specialty and subspecialty. Visit your medical school’s library or http://jama.ama-assn.org.

Delay in USMLE Step 1 Score Reporting

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 in mid-May 2012. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing from mid-May through late June will be Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Updated Practice and Orientation Materials for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Exam Have Been Posted

As previously announced, a new patient note and redesigned Communication and Interpersonal Skills subcomponent will be introduced in the USMLE Step 2 CS examinations beginning June 17, 2012. Updated practice and orientation materials reflecting these changes have been posted to the USMLE website.

Examinees who plan to take the Step 2 CS examination on or after June 17, 2012 should review the updated materials, which include:

• An updated version of the CS Content Description and General Information booklet
• An updated onsite orientation CS video
• A new version of the practice patient note program
• New sample patient notes

View full announcement on the USMLE website.

Mid-2012 Temporary Shutdown of Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Testing; Score Report Delay for Examinees Testing June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012

As previously announced, changes to the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination are scheduled for implementation beginning June 17, 2012. As a consequence of the introduction of these changes, exam scheduling and result reporting will be impacted for some individuals.

  • There will be no Step 2 CS examinations delivered from May 20 through June 16, 2012.
  • The interval between testing and score reporting for examinees testing from June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012 will be 2-3 weeks longer than for examinees testing during other periods.
  • Examinees will continue to receive a graphical performance profile on the second page of their Step 2 CS score report. However, due to the need to accumulate data on these new changes over an extended period, individuals who test on or after June 17, 2012 will see less detailed feedback on their graphical performance profiles than has been provided to examinees in the past. The performance profiles are provided as an assessment tool for the examinee’s benefit and are not reported or verified to any third party. The profiles summarize relative areas of strength and weakness to aid in self assessment.

Please note that examinees who test on or before December 31, 2012 will have scores reported in time for the 2013 “Match.”

More information about the Step 2 CS score reporting dates for examinations delivered in 2012 is provided in the Step 2 CS Score Reporting Schedule.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 24, 2012

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 9:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on March 24, 2012. 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.