With guidance from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) announced on February 12, 2020, that beginning at the earliest on January 1, 2022, the Step 1 licensure examination would change from reporting the results as a 3-digit score to reporting the results as pass/fail. The potential consequences of this decision are wide ranging, and the implementation of this policy will have substantial implications for training a new generation of physicians. This modification in score reporting requires careful consideration of the options moving forward, including potential benefits and challenges this change may create. While this change is part of a concerted effort to improve student wellness and clinically focused education, this announcement, perhaps paradoxically, also will generate uncertainty and anxiety for a cohort of students caught in the transition period, and for future medical students.
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Crane MA, Chang HA, Azamfirei R. Medical Education Takes a Step in the Right Direction: Where Does That Leave Students? JAMA. 2020;323(20):2013–2014. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2950
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