The USMLE

(United States Medical Licensure Examination)

Three exams (Steps 1, 2, and 3) comprise a uniform route to licensure, but licenses to practice medicine are granted by individual states.

The state of Minnesota requires that each component be passed within three attempts. All three Steps must be completed within seven years. Dual degree students (e.g., MD/PhD) may request an extension for each year of study in the second degree up to a maximum of ten years.

Step 1

Application of knowledge and understanding of concepts of basic biomedical science.

Step 1 assesses whether you understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present, but also the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.

Step 2 - Clinical Knowledge Exam (CK)

Application of knowledge and understanding of clinical science essential for patient care under supervision.

Step 2 assesses whether you can apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision and includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills that provide the foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine.

Step 3 - Clinical Skills Exam (CS)

Application of knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for unsupervised patient care.

Step 3 assesses whether you can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings. Step 3 provides a final assessment of physicians assuming independent responsibility for delivering general medical care.

(Text taken from the USMLE website)


Web Resources

National Board of Medical Examiners: www.nbme.org

United States Medical Licensing Examination: www.usmle.org


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