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Problem Identified in Step 2 CS Reports Dated 01/12 - 03/30

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Problem Identified in Step 2 CS Reports Dated 01/12 - 03/30

Postby anatolyk » Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:46 am ... coring.htm

During a review of data for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination, the USMLE quality control team detected a software problem that resulted in an incorrect pass/fail classification for a small number of examinees. The problem affected only examinees with Step 2 CS reports dated January 12 to March 30, 2005.

Candidates whose Step 2 CS reports are dated before January 12 or after March 30 are not affected.

The problem occurred in the computer program that assigns ratings for patient notes. After each clinical encounter, examinees complete notes, which are submitted to a group of physicians who are specially trained to rate them. This rating is one subcomponent of an examinee's score on the Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE), which is itself only one part of an examinee's overall score on the examination.

Forty examinees were notified of a change in classification from fail to pass by express mail scheduled for delivery on April 20. We also contacted the deans of the US medical schools in which any of these students was enrolled. In addition, we sent a corrected score report to any organization that received the previous, incorrect results as part of the transcript services or other reporting mechanisms. We also sent letters and new performance profiles to candidates whose failing classification on Step 2 CS was confirmed by our review of data.

We are also reviewing data on examinees who received a passing classification during the relevant period. At this point, it appears that no more than a dozen examinees who originally received passing scores will be affected. On May 25, we sent express mail deliveries to ten examinees, notifying them that we could not verify their performance on the Patient Note component of ICE. It will be necessary for them to validate the previously reported passing result by retaking the Step 2 CS before December 1, 2005.

By June 15, we will complete the review of the small number of additional candidates whose passing classification could conceivably change to “result pending.” While we remain extremely sensitive to examinees' concerns about such a change in classification, these considerations must be weighed in context of the overall purpose of the exam: to provide a common national minimum standard that all physicians must meet to be licensed to practice medicine in the US.

The USMLE recognizes the gravity of a change in pass/fail classification for any person. We deeply regret any disruption this problem may have caused. Concerned examinees can call our toll-free number at 866-504-8564 (if calling from within the US or Canada ). If you are calling from outside the US and Canada , please call 215-590-9260, or e-mail us at

Examinees may wish to read the FAQs for further information. Both the FAQs and this statement will be updated as we have new information.
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Re: Problem Identified in Step 2 CS Reports Dated 01/12 - 03

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