USMLE Step 3 is going to be divided into two parts effective no sooner than 2014.

The USMLE Composite Committee, National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards recently approved plans to change the structure of USMLE. Step 3 will be the first examination impacted, with changes to this examination to occur no earlier than 2014. The plans call for the division of Step 3 into two separate exams. The two examinations will be scored separately and examinees will be expected to pass each.

USMLE Step 3 Part-1

The first exam is expected to focus on whether an examinee possesses the knowledge essential to the independent practice of medicine, including a comprehensive knowledge of both foundational science and clinical medicine.

USMLE Step 3 Part-2

The second exam will assess an examinee’s ability to apply knowledge in the context of patient management, including demonstration of comprehensive knowledge of health and disease, and their impact on patients. The second exam will also require a demonstration of evidence-based medicine and quantitative reasoning skills important to patient care and to life-long learning.

USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK

After implementation of the Step 3 changes, the Composite Committee and USMLE parent organizations will consider possible modifications to Steps 1 and 2 CK, hinting at adding more evidence-based medicine and leaning more than before towards clinical oriented questions. As new information becomes available we will inform our readers.