Opinion Column: A fundamental flaw in the USMLE exams

There exists a fundamental flaw in the USMLE exams – applicants who pass the exam cannot retake the exam. This means that applicants who score poorly in the exams are prevented from applying to competitive specialties and in some cases even from practicing as a doctor in the US. Why does the USMLE not allow candidates to rewrite exams to improve scores? To understand this, we have to delve into the purpose of USMLE.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination or USMLE as it is popularly known, is a critical set of exams that medical students and graduates must pass before they can practice medicine in the US. The USMLE is a multi-part exhaustive evaluation of a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. It is highly regarded not just in the US, but also in various other countries around the world. So much so that one can use the USMLE in lieu of that country‚Äôs exams.

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