USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)

The USMLE is required from those students and physicians who would like to practise as physicians in the United States.

The USMLE is designed to assess a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.

The USMLE is a single examination with three Steps. Each Step is complementary to the others; no Step can stand alone in the assessment of readiness for medical licensure.

Step 1: Basic Medical Science Examination Step 2: Clinical Science Examination Step 3: examination required by an individual medical licensing authority of a jurisdiction

Each USMLE Step is composed of multiple-choice questions. The tests are computer-based. Step 1 requires one eight-hour testing session. Step 2 is administered in one nine-hour testing session. Step 3 is administered in two eight-hour testing sessions.

Step 1, Step 2 and the CSA are administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

Information and Prometric Test Centers for Step 1 and Step 2: Step 3 is administered by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB): Medical licensing authorities require completion of USMLE Step 1, 2, and 3 within a seven-year period.

To be eligible for Step 1 and Step 2 of USMLE, an applicant must be either a medical student officially enrolled in a medical school listed in the current edition of the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the WHO or must be a graduate of a me dical school which was listed in the directory at the time of graduation.

A Standard ECFMG Certificate is issued to applicants who meet the medical science examination requirements (pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 and the CSA - Clinical Skills Assessment), pass the English language proficiency test (TOEFL), fulfil the medical education credential requirements and clear their financial account with ECFMG.

Printed Information Booklets/Bulletins of Information with application forms for Step 1, Step 2 and the CSA are available in the American Higher Education Information Center. The 2004 editions can be accessed online or can be downloaded from the following pages:

USMLE Bulletin of Information:

ECFMG Information Booklet:


(The text was based on the USMLE Information Booklet, a publication of ECFMG.)

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