Next Steps...

Over the past few months, we have been hard at work behind the scenes gathering additional signatures on our petition as well as gathering data from MedEd leaders about their views on Step 2 CS.  They all have unequivocally shared serious concerns about Step 2 CS.  Earlier today, we sent the letter below to the NBME in an effort to move our project ahead.  

Regardless of their reply, we need your help. We need you to share your thoughts and concerns about Step 2 CS with your state’s legislators and state medical board.  We need you to reach out to members of the FSMB or NBME, especially if they are connected to your medical school or hospital.  Share widely with your friends and colleagues! The more pressure we are able to build at the local, state, and national level, the more likely we are to succeed. From our end, we will not stop our work until we put an end to Step 2 CS!

Percent of Medical School Deans Concerned about Step 2 CS

Source: Unpublished data from a survey of 269 medical school deans representing 125 different medical schools.

Dear members of the NBME and FSMB,

As you know, last year we began collecting signatures on our petition to end the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examination.  Since that time, over 17,500 students and physicians have signed.  Through our ongoing efforts, we have been fortunate to interact with students, physicians, and medical school deans and faculty regarding their views on Step 2 CS and, more generally, how to effectively teach and test clinical skills in the medical school curriculum.  

In our ongoing discussions, we have heard concerns about the cost, inconvenience, redundancy, and lack of feedback available to those who take Step 2 CS.  Our survey of over 250 medical school deans from 125 medical schools supported these concerns.  Of those surveyed who did not have an NBME affiliation, 88% were concerned about the cost of the exam, 83% were concerned about the inconvenience of the exam, and 68% were concerned about the lack of feedback provided to test takers.    

Our survey data also supported the notion that those faculty affiliated with the NBME have a far more positive view of the examination.  We understand and deeply respect the tireless efforts members of the NBME and FSMB have dedicated over the past several decades to improving the quality of medical evaluation and working to incorporate clinical skills as part of that evaluation.  

However, our survey and petition support the notion that Step 2 CS is not the best way to accomplish this goal.  We concur that clinical skills must be effectively taught and tested during medical training.  However, we do not think that the current examination format of Step 2 CS can accurately assess the skills of students taking the exam.  While a multiple choice exam has clear right and wrong answers that can be tallied to a final score, this subjective examination does not.

To be clear, the consequences of even small amounts of subjectivity are grave.  Failing any USMLE exam, including Step 2 CS, can derail a medical student's career plans even if that student has succeeded on every prior examination and has performed well on the wards.  In fact, the vast majority of students who fail Step 2 CS pass on their second attempt without any additional preparation.  

Our goal is to continue to engage with all of the stakeholders involved in order to discuss how to end step 2 CS while working to develop more effective clinical skills education and evaluation at individual medical schools.  We have and will continue working with state legislators, state medical board members, national organizations, medical school administrators, and students.  We welcome any ongoing discussions and would again appreciate the opportunity to express the views of over 17,500 students and physicians who agree with our proposal to eliminate Step 2 CS.

The End Step 2 CS Committee  


Massachusetts Votes to Fight CS Requirement

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution urging the state's Board of Registration in Medicine to eliminate the Step 2 clinical skills (CS) exam as a license requirement for graduates of US medical schools who pass their school's clinical skills exam.

This is a tremendous show of support for the 15,000 students and physicians around the USA who have signed the petition calling for an end to the Step 2 CS exam. 

Take Action in Your State

If you are involved in your state's medical society and want to pass a similar resolution in your state, you can use our template resolution. We are already planning to introduce a resolution at the American Medical Association (AMA) annual meeting in June, so stay tuned for more updates!

Feel free to contact us with any questions!



Michigan Votes to Oppose Step 2 CS

Last weekend, the Michigan State Medical Society voted in favor of our resolution advocating for a replacement of Step 2 CS with a clinical skills exam at each medical school. This is a great achievement, demonstrating that students and physicians alike support our movement and feel strongly that Step 2 CS is costly, burdensome, and unnecessary. Thanks to all the hard work of our team members in Michigan who worked to get this passed!

Help us pass a resolution in your state!

If you are involved with your state medical society, we need your help to pass a resolution urging your state's medical licensing board to eliminate the requirement for Step 2 CS. Our advocacy team has already drafted a RESOLUTION TEMPLATE for you to download and use. Please contact us if you have questions.

Support our AMA Resolution

Working with the Medical Student Section, we have introduced an AMA resolution resolving:

That our AMA work with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and state medical boards to advocate for elimination of the USMLE Step 2 CS and the COMLEX Level 2-PE as a requirement for LCME-accredited and COCA-accredited medical school graduates who have passed a school-administered, clinical skills examination

You can help by asking your state delegation to co-sponsor our AMA resolution. Again, contact us if you have any questions.

This is what 10,000 Signatures Looks Like!

Red >200, Orange >100, Green >50 Signatures

Red >200, Orange >100, Green >50 Signatures

Our movement is now more than 10,000 strong! We have signatures from medical students, residents, and attending physicians from every corner of the USA.

If you have signed the petition, thank you! But we have more work to do! Every signature counts, so please share with your classmates, friends, and co-workers. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Help us get to #12kByMatchDay.

Making Headlines

With over 6,000 signatures, the petition to End Step 2 CS is now making headlines! Today, we were featured in The Boston Globe's STAT News. The article raises the visibility of our movement to the next level. We are clearly making a difference. 

Thanks to everyone who has already signed the petition. And please take just a few minutes to share it with a few of your friends -- on Facebook, Twitter, or by Email.

Led by students from Harvard Medical School, the effort has drawn strong support nationwide. More than 6,000 students, residents, and faculty at 130 medical schools have signed a petition calling for the National Board of Medical Examiners to abolish the test.
— STAT News Article

5,000 Voices Strong

Nearly every medical school has joined the movement (green >50, orange >100, Red >200 signatures)

Nearly every medical school has joined the movement (green >50, orange >100, Red >200 signatures)

Our petition just crossed a remarkable threshold -- we now have signatures from more than 5,000 students, residents, and physicians. 

This movement includes people from every corner of the country -- over 140 medical schools in 45 states plus DC and Puerto Rico. Sixty-four schools have more than 20 signatures, and 9 schools have more than 100! If your medical school is not listed on the graph below, send an email to your class!

20 Medical Schools with Most Signatures

If you shared the petition, thank you! You have contributed to this momentous accomplishment! But we still have more work to do. There is strength in numbers, and the more signatures we get the stronger our case will be to End Step 2 CS.

Please like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. If you want to get even more involved, contact us!

Together, we are doing something amazing and unprecedented. Let's keep pushing for change and put an end to a wasteful and unnecessary hurdle for aspiring physicians. 


Our New Website

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We are proud to introduce our brand new website: www. We are so amazed by the level of energy and excitement around the country! Our petition now has over 3,000 signatures from more than 130 different medical schools in 44 states plus DC and Puerto Rico!

Our team of leaders is growing to include representatives from several different medical schools. Contact us if you want to get more involved.

All over America!

The following 24 schools are the "top-performers" so far, with over 20 signatures each! Great job, but keep spreading the word to increase participation! If you're school isn't yet on the list, share the petition link with your classmates!

  • University of Michigan (MI) - 164
  • Harvard Medical School (MA) - 140
  • Tufts (MA) - 94
  • University of Virginia (VA) - 71
  • Brown (RI) - 62
  • University of Massachusetts (MA) - 44
  • Temple University (PA) -  40
  • Stanford (CA) - 38
  • University of Chicago (IL) - 34
  • University of Cincinnati (OH) - 32
  • Rush (IL) - 32
  • Georgetown (DC) - 31
  • Tulane (LA) - 30
  • University of Nevada (NV) - 28
  • University of Southern California / Keck (CA) - 28
  • Yale (CT) - 27
  • University of Texas Houston (TX) - 26
  • Northwestern (IL) - 26
  • University of Arizona (AZ) - 26
  • University of Texas Galveston (TX) - 25
  • Michigan State University (MI) - 23
  • Texas A&M (TX) - 22
  • UC San Francisco (CA) - 22
  • Medical College of Wisconsin (WI) - 20