So, you want to practice medicine or run a medical business in the United States? It will not be easy. There is a particular process you need to go through to start a medical business in the United States, and one of the most important parts of this process is getting your USMLE transcript. But before we dive into that, let us try to understand what is USMLE first.
What is USMLE
USMLE stands for “United States Medical License Examination”. It is a three-step examination process for medical licensure in the United States which should be taken by any physician who is interested in pursuing a medical career in the United States. The USMLE scores prove your eligibility in practicing medicine in the United States. The exam is mandatory for all foreign-trained doctors to start a legal medicine career in the country.
The total score of USMLE is determined by the number of questions for each part. The examinees for the USMLE need to get the minimum passing scores of:
· 194 for Step 1
· 209 for Step 2
· 196 for Step 3
After passing the USMLE, you become eligible for residency or fellowship in some of the hospitals in the United States. Previously, USMLE scores were calculated differently – the passing mark was 75 for Step 1 at that time, but it has been changed, effective April 2013. The scoring system was amended by the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The reason for this change, as stated by NBME and FSMB, is based on the Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA).
Now that you understand what USMLE is, it is essential that we disclose the importance of USMLE transcript. The USMLE transcript has all the information on the complete history of all the USMLE Steps and Step components taken by the examinee. Bear in mind that this is not your original score report sheet. Included in this transcript are the following information:
- Your full name (written on your NIC) and identification information, including your date of birth.
- The whole exam history of all Steps and Step components that you have taken
- History of any examinations with no reported results;
- An indication of whether you’ve previously taken NBME Parts I, II, or III, Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX), or ECFMG Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA).
- A note of explanation and documentation for any scores marked as indeterminate
- Annotation and documentation of any irregular behavior
- A documentation of any action taken against the candidate by medical licensing authorities or different credentialing entities that have been reported to the FSMB Board Action Databank.
- Keep in mind: The Graphical performance profiles on your official score reports are not included in your USMLE transcript.
How to get the USMLE Transcript
If you need to obtain your USMLE transcript or have it sent to a third party you need to contact the ECFMG, FSMB, or NBME, depending on which Steps you have taken and where you want your transcript sent.
Here are three important notes to guide you:
- If you need to send your transcript to a medical licensing authority at any time, you need to send your request through FSMB.
- Haven’t registered for or taken Step 3? If this is you, and you want a transcript sent to a third party other than a medical licensing authority, you should submit your request through the same entity that registered you for Step 1 and Step 2, the ECFMG or the NBME.
- If you have already registered for and taken Step 3, you must send all USMLE transcript requests through the FSMB.
The following table can assist you in choosing which entity you should contact based on your specific details and needs.
When requesting your USMLE transcript from FSMB, you may request up to two transcripts for a fee of $70. For instance, you will pay $70 for 1-2 transcripts, $140 for 3-4 transcripts, $210 for 5-6 transcripts, and so on. It is also important to remember that once they receive and process your transcript request, they will only send it to the recipient(s) listed. You cannot change the recipient(s) nor add additional recipient(s) later.
On the other hand, if you are requesting UMSLE transcript from ECFMG, you need to complete Form 172, Request for an Official USMLE Transcript and return it to ECFMG with your payment. The amount you need to pay for requesting official USMLE transcripts is $70 for each Form 172 you submit. This fee covers requests for up to 10 transcripts on each form. You can find more information here.
Additionally, you can request your USMLE transcript from NBME online. They accept credit card payments. To request your transcript, simply go to the Licensing Examination Services (NLES) section of the NBME website. The fee is $70 for up to five copies and $5 for each additional copy requested at the same time.
How do you Send your Request?
It is very easy! You can send the transcript electronically to state boards that accept this mode of submission. Express shipping is an alternative, in case the state board or other recipients do not receive transcripts electronically. However, you need to pay an extra $25 per recipient.
FSMB processes requests on a “first come first serve” basis. Just have a little patience as there are many other candidates waiting for their transcripts. FSMB provide transcripts within five business days of receiving the completed transcript request and appropriate fee. Only the scores of the exams you have received your official score report for will appear on the transcript. Therefore, you need to wait for the official score report of an exam you have taken before requesting a transcript.
What You Need a USMLE Transcript For?
Your USMLE transcript is the official proof that you have successfully taken the mandatory exam, USMLE. Furthermore, for medical students in the United States, it is a graduation requirement. For International Medical Graduates (IMG) who plan on matching into residency programs in the US, it is the evidence proving that their medical knowledge meets the standards of the United States.
Your transcript will also serve as an essential document when applying for many MD residency programs. Additionally, the transcript will be attached to residency directors as part of your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
So, is it your dream to practice medicine in the United States? Then this document is a MUST-HAVE!