The Three Steps of the USMLE

Residents Medical is an educational organization that helps medical students and graduates achieve a medical residency, through our ACGME accredited program, in the United States. The organization provides exclusive services to educate, prepare, and guide both domestic and international candidates. One way Residents Medical prepares residency candidates is through one-on-one USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) tutoring.

The USMLE provides medical licensing authorities in the United States with a common evaluation system to grant initial medical license to physicians. Overseen by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the examination consists of the following three steps:

1. (Step 1) A one-day examination administered in an eight-hour session. A candidate’s understanding and application of basic medical science concepts are tested, focusing on health, disease, and therapy principles and mechanisms. This first step checks the candidate’s mastery of the foundational sciences for the competent practice of medicine and the scientific principles required for lifelong learning to maintain proficiency.

2. (Step 2CK) The CK (Clinical Knowledge) examination, which is also a one-day session but is administered over nine hours. It focuses on promoting health and preventing disease by testing a candidate’s ability to apply knowledge and skills, along with his or her clinical science comprehension. Clinical science principles and basic patient-centered skills are assessed to ensure that candidates can adequately practice medicine under supervision.

(Step 2CS) Includes CS (Clinical Skills) tests that are in the same areas as SK but uses standardized patients to assess the examinee’s ability to gather patient information, make physical examinations, and communicate findings.

3. (Step 3) The final examination is administered over a two-day period. It tests a candidate’s ability to apply medical knowledge and biomedical and clinical science comprehension to practice medicine unsupervised. Examinees must prove they can be independent and are qualified to provide general medical care.

Successful completion of step three leads to a license to practice medicine unsupervised.