Everything You Need to Know About the USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

Every country has a body that has the jurisdiction to grant a practicing license in the field of medicine and USMLE is that body in the United States. In the US, every State has a licensing body that is regulated by the United Sates Medical Licensing Examination. Licensing bodies prepare examinations and send them to the United States Medical Licensing Examination. The USMLE later sends back the results and are used in granting the licenses.

USMLE governance

The government of USMLE is made up of a committee that includes representatives from the ECFMG, FSMB, and NBME and also from the general public. Responsibilities of this committee include-
  • Overseeing all the activities and undertakings of the body.
  • Identifying and agreeing upon the procedures to determine whether a person has failed or passed and whether they are worthy of a practicing license.
  • Ensuring that all the policies are adhered to and that all the procedures are followed.
It is the responsibility of this committee to ensure that whoever gets a practicing license has earned it by having all the qualifications of a certified medical practitioner. Failure to do so would be negligence on their part that would have serious repercussions even on the public in general.

How is the examination content developed?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination test committee is made up of professionals from every medical field. These professions are from the entire United States. These professionals include clinicians, biomedical scientists, educators and many others. As a matter of fact, every LCME accredited medical school in the United States is represented in the United States Medical Licensing Examination. This committee is in charge of developing the examination. The test committee presents a national faculty of medicine. This faculty of medicine is drawn from-
  • State medical boards
  • Medical schools
  • Clinical settings across the United States of America.

What is the aim of having one national examination?

Medicine is a very sensitive area and everyone can agree with me. For this reason, it is quite worrying when more than one body is allowed to issue practicing licenses. This is because it might be quite hard to oversee the engagements of more than one body. The USMLE was created for the sole purpose of ensuring that the licensing of medical practitioners is done by only one body. Are you overwhelmed by all your medical learning material? There's an easier way - learn more

What are the goals of the USMLE?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination has the following goals to aid in having solid medical practices in the States-
  • Develop and improve assessments for licensing with the sole aim of accurately and comprehensively assessing the medical practitioners.
  • Ensure that all the physicians are assessed equally and fairly which is attained by use of one national examination. This makes sure that everyone who wishes to practice medicine goes through the same door in the entire United States.
  • Provide for all the licensing authorities in different states in an attempt to ensure they all use the same standards in terms of medical knowledge, skills, values and other things concerning the field of medicine.
  • Provide a platform where all medical institutions are represented. This makes sure that the committee is dynamic and always changing to accommodate the ever changing and improving medical field.
The medical field is one of the most dynamic fields in the world. This makes it very sensitive as it deals with the lives of people. For that reason, the United States decided it should form one body to regulate the medical field in the States. That led to the genesis of USMLE and the subsequent formation of the relevant committees.    

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