The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) is a three step examination taken by doctors in their medical education. The examination is for doctors with medical degrees who need the examination to practice medicine.
The exam tests whether the doctor can apply knowledge, concepts and principles to determine whether they can provide adequate patient care. The students and graduates of medical school register for step one and step two. The doctors studying for the Doctor of Medicine degree have to take and pass part three too, while doctors studying for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree have to either pass the three parts or take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination.
Step One Edit
Step One tests whether the doctor can apply important concepts of the basics sciences to the practice of medicine. The test is taken in the second year of medical school in a one day examination, and seven sixty-minute sections. The result will help determine what residency program will be best suited for the doctor and is important for doctors selecting the students that will be educated in their residency program. The test cannot be repeated by any student who receives a pass grade of any kind to achieve a higher result and a fail grade is permanently recorded.
Step Two Edit
Step Two determines whether the student can apply medical knowledge, skills and an understanding of clinical science needed when providing supervised patient care. The test is taken in the third or fourth year of medical school in two parts.
The first part of the examination is named Step 2 CK. The one day examination has eight sixty-minute sections. The second part of the examination is named Step 2 CS. The one day examination determines whether the doctor can gather information from the patient, perform examinations and communicate their findings to the patient and colleagues.
Step Three Edit
Step Three tests whether the student can apply medical knowledge and an understanding of biomedical and clinical science to practice unsupervised medicine. The exam is taken at the completion of the Internship, the first year of residency. The exam is a two day examination which take seven and nine hours for each day respectively. The doctor has to repeat the Internship year in the event that they fail.
Behind the Scenes Edit
- George O'Malley failed Step Three and had to repeat the Internship. When he passed the exam the second time, he was promoted to second year resident.
- Alex Karev had failed Step Two. The Chief of Surgery gave him four months to retake the examination and pass. He succeeded.