Comprehensive Review of USMLE
United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) on August 15, 2007 released an article about some possible changes in the USMLE exams.
In January 2004, the Composite Committee that governs the USMLE requested the NBME, FSMB, and ECFMG to develop a process to undertake such a review. This project is called the Comprehensive Review of USMLE (CRU).
Some of the major themes, till now, emerging include the following:
"From both a licensing and an educational perspective, the separate design and administration of an examination of the basic sciences seems to create an artificial separation of basic and clinical sciences.
This was a sentiment frequently expressed by stakeholders, including faculty members from both the basic sciences and clinical sciences.
The weight of opinion gathered to date favors the integration of basic science and clinical science concepts throughout all examination components rather than the current segregation of basic science content in Step 1."
"The current Step 1 component of the USMLE is used by many medical schools to support promotion or graduation decisions. If the USMLE is redesigned in a manner that eliminates Step 1 in its current form, then NBME should be prepared to provide similar valid, reliable, and secure assessment tools to schools that still wish to use them."
"There are conflicting opinions on the value of numeric versus pass/fail reporting for both the primary and secondary uses of USMLE. It is likely that this issue will not be resolved until the final recommendations of CEUP are made and the implications of those recommendations fully examined."
Regarding the lime line of the possible changes in the USMLE exams the article states:
"Although it is difficult to predict subsequent time lines prior to receiving the final recommendations, major changes to USMLE design and structure will likely take a minimum of two years, after spring 2009 approval, to implement."