The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a 3-part test designed to assess the application of medical knowledge to patient care. Medical students usually complete the first 2 components (Steps 1 and 2) during the second and third years of medical school. Step 3 is taken after graduation, typically after the first year of residency training. The official purpose of the examination is to assist state authorities in granting medical licenses, but it also reassures various groups, including employers, educators, and patients, that licensed physicians have attained a minimum standard of medical knowledge.
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Swails JL, Aibana O, Stoll BJ. The Conundrum of the United States Medical Licensing Examination Score Reporting Structure. JAMA. 2019;322(7):605–606. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.9669
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