United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) 2012


United States Medical Licensing Examination targets on attaining medical license in United States. The faculty concerned with this exam is Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).This examination conducted through three stages. On each stage, it will testify the physician’s knowledge and skill in medical field. As different medical licensing authorities possess their own rules, this exam will provide a common criteria for giving license for practicing medicine. This examination program will reviewed frequently. Recent updates can be found on USMLE website.

Structure of USMLE

Three stages will accompany this examination that will be in computer-based manner. Step 1 is concerned with the basic knowledge of Medical Science has 322 questions with many choices separated in seven sixty minute blocks should terminate in eight hours. Clinical Skills and Clinical Knowledge are the two phases of Step 2. Clinical Skill will evaluate separately while Clinical Knowledge is multiple-choice pattern.

Twelve patient’s cases patient will give in Clinical Skills test. 25 minutes is allotted for each patient. For diagnosis, minimum 15 minutes is permitted. Step 3 has 480 questions with multiple choices separated in 30 to 15 items having blocks. It should terminate in 45 to 60 minutes. The two stages conducted in one of the Prometric Test Centers (PTC) in the world, while last stage can conduct only in United States and its territories. The properties used while examination will come under copyrighted materials. Any replication will come under the violation of copyright law.

Syllabus of USMLE

Step 1

  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Interdisciplinary topics such as nutrition, genetics, and aging

Step 2 Clinical Knowledge

  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Preventive medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

Other areas relevant to provision of care under supervision

Step 2 Clinical Skills

  • Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE)
  • Data gathering: Obtaining patient’s information by diagnosis and history
  • Documentation: From the findings from diagnosis and history finishing the patient’s record
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS)
  • Questioning
  • Sharing information
  • Professional manner
  • Spoken English Proficiency (SEP)
  • Communication skills to interact with patients

Step 3

  • Clinical Encounter Frame
  • Initial care
  • Continued care
  • Emergency care
  • Physician Task
  • Thorough diagnosis of patients and making record
  • Managing patients

Eligibility Criteria

For Step 1, Step 2

  • Candidates currently doing medicine or graduation in MD degree from whichever US or
  • Canadian medical school approved by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
  • Candidates currently doing medicine or graduation in DO degree from US medical school approved by American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Candidates currently doing medicine or graduate from other medical school exterior to US and Canada eligible only meeting the norms of ECFMG

For Step 3

  • Candidates should acquire MD (or equivalent) or DO degree
  • Candidates should qualify Step 1 and Step 2
  • Graduates exterior to US and Canada should qualify certification by ECFMG or attain successfully Fifth Pathway program
  • Candidates should eligible to the specifications in Step 3 set by preferred Medical Licensing Authority

How to Apply?

For Step 1 and Step 2

  • Candidates from US and Canada should apply all the way through the website http://www.nbme.org
  • Candidates outside US and Canada should apply all the way through the website


For Step 3

  • Candidates can forward their application through http://www.fsmb.org

Note: They have to login the website with USMLE or ECFMG ID. While registering in the site, an eight digit ID will be obtained.

While giving the name make sure it is exactly as in passport or degree certificate. In case of specifying clinical clerkships, give the details. If payment is through credit card fill with the sixteen digit number. Also confirm the name entered is same as in the card. Photograph submitted should have an expiry of six months and should seal by Dean or Medical college office. While sealing make sure not covering the entire photograph.

Important Dates

Exam is scheduled according to date on which the candidate is applying. The concerned authorities will sent the dates through email.

List of USMLE centers

  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Ahmedabad
  • New Delhi
  • Bangalore
  • Kolkata
  • Allahabad
  • Mumbai

Contact Address for the USMLE

For Step 1 or Step 2(Candidates from US and Canada)

  • NBME, Examinee Support Services, 3750 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3190
  • Website: http://www.nbme.org
  • Telephone: (215)590-9700
  • E-mail: [email protected]

For Step 1 or Step 2(Candidates outside US and Canada)

  • ECFMG, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
  • Website: http://www.ecfmg.org
  • Telephone: (215)386-5900
  • E-mail: [email protected]

For Step 3

  • FSMB, Assessment Services, 400 Fuller Wiser Road, Suite 300, Euless, TX 76039-3856
  • Website: http://www.fsmb.org
  • Telephone: (817) 868-4041
  • E-mail: [email protected]


  • Medical licensing authority
  • E-mail Address: http://www.fsmb.org/usmle_eliinitial.html

Reference Books for USMLE

  • First Aid for the USMLE Step 1by Vikas Bhushan
  • Pathology: Board Review Series by Arthur S. Schneider
  • Physiology (Board Review Series) (3rd Edition) by Linda S. Costanzo
  • Pathophysiology for the Boards and Wards (Boards and Wards Seies) by Brad Spellberg
  • High-Yield™ Biochemistry (High-Yield Series) by R. Bruce Wilcox
  • Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry by Pamela C. Champe
  • High-Yield Cell and Molecular Biology by Ronald W. Dudek
  • High-Yield Histology by Ronald W. Dudek
  • High Yield Gross Anatomy (Science of Review) by Ronald W. Dudek
  • Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, Edition 3 by Mark Gladwin
  • High-Yield Embryology by Ronald W. Dudek
  • High-Yield Immunology by Arthur G. Johnson
  • High-Yield™ Neuroanatomy (High-Yield Series) by James D. Fix
  • High-Yield Behavioral Science by Barbara Fadem
  • High-Yield™ Biostatistics (High-Yield Series) by Anthony N. Glaser

Coaching Centers for USMLE

  • Global Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Dr.Bhatia Medical Institute
  • Achievers Point Knowledge Systems Pvt. Ltd
  • Jamboree Education Center
  • Career Forum

Study Plan

It is vey useful to review question banks and leaf through graphics to attain better knowledge to approach the exam. It is better to concern about time taking to attend each question. Reviewing test materials will help for that. It is better to take diagnostic pretest. Most important thing is to practice questions, at least solving hundred each day. Some time should give for relax from studying so as to refresh mind.

How and where to get the results

If the exam is held on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday the result will be on third Wednesday. If it is on other days except Sunday, the score will come on forth Wednesday. Result will get by email given by ECFMG or NBME.

Score Validity

Score obtained by this examination is valid for only seven years. After that even though the candidates have qualified the exam, it may not serve the purpose of this exam.



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