FSMB permanently discontinues Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam

February 02, 2021

The Federation of State Medical Boards and National Board of Medical Examiners, co-sponsors of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), have permanently discontinued the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination.

On May 26, 2020, the USMLE program announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique, human-to-human delivery mode of the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination, testing would be suspended for 12-18 months to protect the health of examinees. At that time, they said they intended to bring back a modified and improved Step 2 exam.

However, after reviewing current and anticipated progress with the exam and in consideration of the rapidly evolving medical education, practice and technology landscapes, they have now announced that they will instead take this opportunity to work with stakeholders in medical education and at the state medical boards to determine innovative ways to assess the breadth of clinical skills in medicine.

In the absence of the Step 2 clinical skills exam, elements of clinical reasoning and communication will continue to be assessed on the other exams in the USMLE sequence.


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