If you have been following the USMLE Pass/Fail debate, you should know that the final battle is upon us. The InCUS is nigh. WHAT THE HECK IS THE InCUS? It’s the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS), to be held in Philadelphia, PA, on March 11-12, 2019. WHAT’S AT STAKE? Why, nothing less than the […]Read More The InCUS is coming – are we ready?
There’s a persistent objection to making USMLE Step 1 pass/fail that goes something like this: Dear Sheriff, When you suggest that we should make USMLE Step 1 pass/fail, you overlook one very important thing. See, I’m a program director, and if my residents don’t pass their boards, my program will get shut down. Whatever failings […]Read More The Mythology of USMLE Step 1 Scores and Board Certification
From time to time, hunters exploring the depths of the Amazon rainforest stumble upon an eerie sight. Nestled amidst the almost-impenetrable jungle are well-circumscribed areas where the forest has been almost completely cleared out. Instead of the usual lush vegetation extending from the groundcover to the tree canopy above, these clearings contain only a single […]Read More Symbiosis: The USMLE, ERAS, and medical education
I saw my first case of Application Fever three years ago. A medical student asked me to write a letter of recommendation for her internal medicine residency applications. She was a great student – easily in the top 10% from my work with her on the wards – and I was happy to do it. […]Read More The Etiology of Application Fever
Today, I took to Twitter to consider the opportunity cost of USMLE Step 1. How much, exactly, is Step 1 Mania costing us in terms of intellectual capital? Let’s do the math. How much time is spent on Step 1? A recent study found that the average student spends 11 hours per day over 35.3 […]Read More The Intellectual Opportunity Cost of USMLE Step 1
What could an irrational number have to do with residency selection? Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about USMLE. I’ve argued that the current culture of Step 1 Mania is destroying medical education, and I’ve asserted that the test should be made pass/fail. Not everyone agrees with that. I’ve addressed some of the objections previously, […]Read More On pi and Step 1 Mania
Since January 15, 2019, students taking USMLE Step 1 (and Step 2 CK) have received a new score report. What changed – and why? If you’re interested in the party line, you can read it here. If you’d prefer to compare the reports yourself and come to your own conclusion, read on. (And if you’d […]Read More The new USMLE score report