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About USMLE Step 3 Test

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE, is administered to assess the knowledge and ability of medical professionals. In order to receive a license to practice medicine, candidates must pass the USMLE.
The USMLE is a three-step test sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners. The test is used to determine a potential physician's ability to utilize their skills and knowledge when treating patients. The test is a means of ensuring that candidates pursuing a medical license will be capable of providing safe and effective patient care. Candidates must complete all three steps of the USMLE in order to be granted a medical license.
Step 3 of the USMLE ensures a candidate's ability to properly apply medical knowledge in an unsupervised medical setting. The test focuses on the candidate's understanding of biomedical and clinical science. The test requires the candidate to evaluate the severity of a patient's condition, properly diagnose the patient and effectively treat the condition. The test will be composed of a combination of multiple-choice question and computer-based case studies. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to provide patient-centered care for inpatients as well as ambulatory patients.
The test can be divided into two areas: clinical encounters and physician tasks. Clinical encounter questions will be divided into three categories: initial care will constitute 20% to 30%, continued care 50% to 60%, and emergency care 15% to 25%. The physician task portion will be divided into six categories. Between 8% and 12% of the test will be dedicated to each of these areas: patient history and physical examination, laboratory and diagnostic studies, diagnosis, evaluation of severity, and application of scientific concepts and mechanisms of disease. The remaining 45% to 55% of the test will focus on managing patients.
In order to take Step 3 of the USMLE, candidates must acquire an MD degree, pass USMLE Steps 1 and 2, and meet all Step 3 requirements set by the candidate's medical licensing authority. Candidates must complete all three steps of the USMLE within a seven-year period or less.
Candidates are allowed to retake a Step up to three times in a 12-month period. Candidates who must retake Step 3 are required to wait 60 days after their failed attempt to retake the test.
Additional testing information including dates, locations, fees and practice tests can be found at http://www.usmle.org/.