Have Your Say on Medical Licensing Exam Changes
By David Doolittle


The U.S. Medical Licensing Exam has received a lot of attention in recent months, much of it controversial. You now have the opportunity to weigh in on proposed changes to how the exam is scored.

Earlier this year, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), American Medical Association (AMA), and other medical associations convened a conference to discuss how USMLE scores are being used in undergraduate and graduate medical education.

The conference was borne out of concerns that the exams are being overly used to screen and select residency applicants and on their potentially negative effects on student well-being.

Several short- and long-term recommendations came out of the conference, such as:

  • Reducing the adverse impact of the current overemphasis on USMLE performance in residency screening and selection through possible changes such as pass/fail scoring;
  • Accelerating research on the correlation of USMLE performance to measures of residency performance and clinical practice;
  • Minimizing racial demographic differences; and
  • Convening a cross-organizational panel to create solutions for the assessment and transition challenges from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME), targeting an approved proposal, including scope/timelines by end of calendar year 2019.

If you’re interested in reviewing and commenting on the recommendations, you’ve got until next week.

You can review the recommendations, hear podcasts and a webinar about the conference, and submit comments about the recommendations on the USMLE website. Comments should be submitted by Friday, July 26.

Final recommendations will be presented in the fall, with next steps beginning at the end of the year, according to the USLME website.

Last Updated On

July 19, 2019

David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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