Testing and evaluation: The present and future of the assessment of medical professionals

Steven A. Haist, Agata P. Butler, Miguel A. Paniagua

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The aim of this review is to highlight recent and potential future enhancements to the United States Licensing Examination (USMLE) program. The USMLE program is co-owned by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards. The USMLE includes four examinations: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, Step 2 Clinical Skills, and Step 3; every graduate of Liaison Committee on Medical Education-accredited allopathic medical schools and all international medical graduates must pass this examination series to practice medicine in the United States. From 2006 to 2009, the program underwent an indepth review resulting in five accepted recommendations. These recommendations have been the primary driver for many of the recent enhancements, such as an increased emphasis on foundational science and changes in the clinical skills examination, including more advanced communication skills assessment. These recommendations will continue to inform future changes such as access to references (e.g., a map of metabolic pathways) or decision-making tools for use during the examination. The NBME also provides assessment services globally to medical schools, students, residency programs, and residents. In 2015,>550,000 assessments were provided through the subject examination program, NBME self-assessment services, and customized assessment services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The American Physiological Society.


  • Assessment
  • Medical student
  • National Board of Medical Examiners
  • Subject tests
  • United States Medical Licensing Examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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