What Is the USMLE?

What Is the USMLE?

If you want to practice medicine in the United States, you must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination program (USMLE). The standardized USMLE allows medical licensing authorities across the country to adhere to a standard medical evaluation system.

This article will briefly describe the USMLE process and what you will need to do throughout your medical education. Continue reading to learn more.

How it is regulated

The rights to the program are owned by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Examiners (NBME). The NBME is an oversight board of around 80 experts who determine the specifics of the examination. They are responsible for the format of the various tests. The FSMB is a larger organization that oversees the various medical boards across the United States and its territories. They help with the assessment and documentation of credentials amongst the different medical groups across the country.

How it is formatted

Rather than one exam, the USMLE is a series of exams taken throughout your medical education. In all, there are three steps. Typically step 1 is taken after your second year in medical school. You must answer a series of multiple-choice questions about various medical disciplines. Step 2 combines multiple-choice questions on Clinical Knowledge (CK) and mock examinations of patients taken after four years of medical school. There are many resources available for how to prepare for USMLE Step 2 CK and mock examinations. Step 3 focuses on the real-world treatment of patients, virtual simulations and multiple-choice questions. If you pass this step, you will be ready to practice medicine without any supervision.

Learning to become a doctor is a long and arduous process that requires several examinations and hands-on experience. Every doctor in the United States must pass the USMLE. If you want to become a doctor, start to familiarize yourself with each step of the exam.