The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout each year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees. At its recent meetings, the CIR heard multiple cases involving the following:
  • falsified information, including the creation of falsified score reports
  • soliciting and/or seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials
  • communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with another examinee
  • applying and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
  • making notes of any kind on anything other than materials provided
  • failure to follow test center instructions, including writing past the ‘end patient note’ announcement
Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included annotating the individual’s USMLE record with a finding of irregular behavior, barring access to USMLE for periods ranging from 0-3 years, and reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank of the Federation of State Medical Boards. State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes. As evidenced by the sanctions listed above, a finding of irregular behavior carries significant potential impact. USMLE applicants and examinees are reminded to read the USMLE Bulletin of Information carefully, follow the rules of conduct during testing, and refrain from any pre- or post-examination conduct that might constitute irregular behavior. Specific examples of conduct deemed to be irregular behavior can be found in the Bulletin. The USMLE is committed to maintaining the integrity of its examination so that state medical boards may continue to rely upon it as an integral part of their decision-making process for licensure. Applicants and examinees are advised to observe all USMLE policies and procedures to avoid the potentially significant implications arising from a finding of irregular behavior. More at USMLE.org