About UMHS /

    USMLE / Licensure

    Your path toward licensure 

    To graduate from the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, UMHS students must successfully pass both Step 1 and Step 2 of the United States Licensing Examinations (USMLE).  To practice medicine in the United States, UMHS graduates must successfully pass all three steps of the USMLE and be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

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    United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

    UMHS students are required to pass the USMLE exams in order to become licensed in the United States. These exams assess a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills. These skills are important in health and disease management and constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.

    The USMLE consists of three separate examinations that students sit for at various intervals. Each of the three steps of the USMLE complements the others. The exams are administered throughout the medical education process and include Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 3. No single step score can stand alone in the assessment of readiness for medical licensure with regards to safe and effective patient care.  Please refer to usmle.org for more information. 

    Graduates must also have either a passing Step 2 CS result or, after March 2020, an approved ECFMG Pathways 3 or 6 in order to obtain ECFMG Certification.

    Upon successfully completing the academic program and all medical licensing exams, UMHS students qualify to become fully licensed physicians throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada.

    USMLE Step 1

    The USMLE Step 1 is taken prior to the sixth semester at UMHS. This examination assesses whether medical school students understand and can apply scientific concepts that are foundational to the practice of medicine.  

    Throughout the Basic Science Program, we prepare our students to sit for Step 1. To support that effort, we have incorporated the Kaplan Medical On-Demand Program into our curriculum starting in the first semester.  In the fifth semester, we provide a 7-week, live review program with outstanding faculty from U.S. medical schools to ensure students' success on Step 1.  In May 2022, we will be moving to a 15-week review program which will include more clinically relevant material. Recently the university affiliated with AMBOSS, one of the premier USMLE review programs in the United States.  Our students will now have full access to the AMBOSS Step 1 and 2 review programs.


    USMLE Step 2 CK & CS (ECFMG Pathways)

    The USMLE Step 2 CK & CS are taken prior to graduation. These tests assess whether medical school students can apply medical knowledge and skills and display an understanding of clinical science concepts essential for providing patient care under supervision.  

    Once UMHS students pass Step 1, they are enrolled in Kaplan's CK review program.  The CK program includes a seven-month video series covering all the core rotations. It also includes several diagnostic examinations and a large question bank.  To qualify for Step 2 CK students must first pass the NBME Comprehensive Clinical Science Examination (CCSE).  Graduates must also have either a passing Step 2 CS result or, after March 2020, an approved ECFMG Pathways (3 or 6) in order to obtain ECFMG Certification.

    We are proud to announce that our first-time pass rate on Step 2 CK is 96% with an average score of 231 (for the period March 2019 to March 2020).


    USMLE Step 3

    The USMLE Step 3 is taken prior to the completion of residency training. This examination assesses whether medical school graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of biomedical and clinical science concepts essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine.


    ECFMG Certification

    Students graduating from international and Caribbean medical schools must be certified by the ECFMG in order to gain residency and licensure in the U.S. All UMHS students receive ECFMG certification by successfully graduating from our M.D. program and passing USMLE Steps 1 and 2. Students are not required to complete any additional certification exams prior to graduation.  

    Starting in 2024, ECFMG will require all international medical school accreditations to be approved and recognized by their organization. Our accreditation through ACCM is recognized by NCFMEA and approved by ECFMG.  As a result, our graduates are qualified, and will continue to qualify for ECFMG certification.


    Residency positions

    Residency programs begin July 1 of each year. In order to be eligible, students must have the following prior to May 31:

    1. Passing scores on the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK and CS.  After May 2020, the CS will no longer be available, and students must successfully complete pathway 3 or 6 established by ECFMG
    2. Diploma from UMHS
    3. ECFMG certificate

    When applying for residency positions, deadlines are critical. Most residency programs accept applications from September to December for entry the following July. Students apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) beginning in the summer prior to the match. Interviews are generally conducted from September to January.

    Read more about residency and match.


    Since our very first residency match in 2010, UMHS students have been extremely successful in attaining top residencies throughout the U.S. and Canada.

    Graduate residency training

    Fourth year UMHS students pursue post graduate residency positions in prestigious hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada.  After graduating, students begin their internship year alongside their U.S. counterparts as practicing M.D.s in numerous specialties and in diverse residency training programs. UMHS provides a significant amount of support to assist students in applying for residencies.  We have established residency guidebooks that are essential for students' success. 


    UMHS success

    UMHS students have performed exceptionally well on licensing examinations for the following reasons:

    • Our development of a comprehensive Basic and Clinical Science Program modeled after the U.S. programs.
    • Our incorporation of shelf examinations developed by the National Board of Examiners (NBME) into our curriculum. Virtually every U.S. medical school utilizes these examinations. The NBME grades the examinations and provides a full analysis, which helps students understand their performance as it compares to their counterparts in the United States.  Shelf examinations are offered to UMHS students in both the Basic and Clinical Science Program.  These exams are similar in style and format to the USMLE. 
    • UMHS is one of the only foreign medical schools to offer a comprehensive review program for Step 1 and Step 2 through Kaplan Medical and AMBOSS.  The review program begins in the first semester and continues on through the clinical program.  
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    Residency matches

    UMHS students have an impressive track record of attaining top residencies in the U.S. and Canada. See where they’ve matched.

    View residency match list