The USMLE program administers a series of exams. Most states accept passing of these examinations as a means of obtaining licensure for the practice of medicine. The medical residency program requires that all students take, as candidates both USMLE Step I and Step II (CK & CS) and that their scores become part of their academic record.
Step I consists of a one-day multiple choice exam while Step II CK & CS is a two-day examination. They are taken at the student's discretion, subject to scheduling arrangements. The USMLE Step I exam has been taken in June after the second year of medical school. It encompasses material from the following seven areas of basic science curriculum: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Microbiology and Behavioral Science.
Step II CK is similar in format to Step I and is usually taken during the fourth year of medical school. The subjects which are tested are the clinical sciences of Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
Step II CS is a clinical skills examination in which students encounter 11-12 standardized patients and is usually taken anytime 12 months prior to graduation. Each student is evaluated based on their interaction with the standardized patients, differential diagnosis and note taking.
Step III is taken toward the end of the first year of residency training.
Applications for and information pertaining to Step I, Step II CK & CS are available at the USMLE website (http://www.usmle.org). Students receive a report of their scores directly from the National Board.