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The USMLE Step 1 Exam

United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)

In the United States and its territories, the individual medical licensing authorities ("state medical boards") of the various jurisdictions grant a license to practice medicine. Each medical licensing authority sets its own rules and regulations and requires passing an examination that demonstrates qualification for licensure. Results of the USMLE are reported to these authorities for use in granting the initial license to practice medicine. The USMLE provides them with a common evaluation system for applicants for initial medical licensure.

The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Each of the three Steps of the USMLE complements the others; no Step can stand alone in the assessment of readiness for medical licensure. Because individual medical licensing authorities make decisions regarding use of USMLE results, physicians seeking licensure should contact the jurisdiction where they intend to apply for licensure to obtain complete information. Also, the FSMB can provide general information on medical licensure.

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NBME - Licensing Examination Services

The National Board of Medical Examiners gives the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Difference between the NBME and USMLE?

The way to remember the difference between the NBME and the USMLE is that the National Board of Medical Examiners gives the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

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Shelby Atceson, OHSU Office of Student Access (OSA)
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US+MLE, United States Medical Licensing Examination

USMLE Sponsors

  • The Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. (FSMB)
  • The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®)