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COVID Updates

May 7:

  • Testing
  • COVID-19 information
  • Issues with Prometric, Scheduling, Rescheduling, etc.
    • We have not been told by Prometric when their phone lines will be reopened. We will post an update once we have that information.
    • We are hearing that Step 3 appointments are being changed (cancelled, rescheduled) in a haphazard fashion and that emails coming from Prometric may obtain erroneous or incomplete information. We are working to contact impacted examinees and to correct these issues with Prometric. As we work through these issues, you may receive some communications about your Step 3 test dates/schedule/exam from the NBME (i.e., an @nbme.org email address), rather than the FSMB or Prometric. So, please do not be surprised or alarmed by that or ignore any emails that you receive from the NBME.
    • We are hearing that finding available exam dates is difficult and that, in some areas, there are not open dates until late summer. Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule or reschedule your exam for you, or to prioritize your examination above any other examinee’s. The best guidance we can provide right now is to check the Prometric website for open centers and availability (https://www.prometric.com/site-openings) as frequently as possible. We have heard that new testing dates are becoming available periodically, even some that were previously unavailable.  
    • When scheduling or rescheduling your test dates on the Prometric website, be sure to enter your information (name, candidate ID) in order to see the most accurate test center and date availability. If you search Prometric’s website for open dates without inputting your information, you will see ALL dates where that center has ANY availability for testing (that is, you will see availability for any exams, not just USMLE). Just because a center has availability does not mean that it has availability to accommodate Step 3 Day 1 or Day 2 (i.e., a 7-hour test day or a 9-hour test day). Inputting your name and Candidate ID will ensure you are only seeing dates where that Prometric center can accommodate your USMLE Step 3 Day 1 and/or Day 2 exam.
    • If you have any questions or would like to make sure we are aware of the issues examinees are experiencing with Prometric and/or file a complaint about what is occurring, please contact us at (817) 868-4041 or usmle@fsmb.org so that we can have your situation on file and share it with staff responsible for communicating and coordinating USMLE issues directly with Prometric. We have been and continue to be in daily contact with Prometric to represent and communicate examinees’ needs and issues.
  • Alternate Test Delivery Options
    • We are exploring remote proctoring, delivery at alternate sites (including medical schools), and additional solutions to address testing backlog and capacity restraints. 
    • We will post more information about alternate delivery options as soon as it is available.
  • Eligibility Periods
    • All eligibility periods on the Step 3 registration site have been set to end on December 31, 2020.
    • We are extending eligibility periods for all examinees who registered before this change was implemented. 
    • If your eligibility period has not been extended, please contact us at (817) 868-4041 or usmle@fsmb.org and ask for your eligibility to be extended through the end of the year. The eligibility will be extended for free.
  • Step 3 Certification of Identity (CID) Forms
    • FSMB is now accepting electronic signatures and electronic/remote notarization of the Step 3 CID form.
    • FSMB is also accepting completed CID forms via email at usmle@fsmb.org.  Due to COVID-19, we are in the office on a very limited basis. It will be several days to a week before we are able to obtain and process your CID if it is mailed to our offices. Please contact us at usmle@fsmb.org if you are not able to scan & email your completed CID to us.  
    • The Step 3 CID is not an application for Step 3. You must ALSO submit an online Step 3 application and fees before we can complete your Step 3 registration. Communication about the status of your Step 3 registration does not begin until your online application has been submitted. That is, the internal registration system does not recognize your CID until your online application has been submitted. Therefore, if we have not yet received your online Step 3 application, we cannot and will not send out an email confirming that we have received your CID. In addition, we cannot and will not send an email about any missing or incomplete information on the CID (e.g., name, photograph, notarization) until we receive your online Step 3 application.
    • A CID is required for all Step 3 applications unless a valid one is already on file. Approved CIDs from prior Step 3 applications are valid for 5 years from the date of notarization. If you need to reapply for Step 3 during that 5-year period, it is not necessary to submit a new CID.

April 23:

  • Prometric announced the extended closure of test centers until May 31, 2020 with the exception of a limited set of essential services programs. USMLE is considered an essential program, and certain centers will still be able to resume testing in accordance with local social distancing guidelines on May 1, 2020.
  • More information about Prometric’s updated procedures, including enhanced test center measures, can be found on their website.
  • We do not know when Prometric’s phone lines will be reopened. We will post an update once we have more information.
  • We are extending eligibility periods for all examinees. 
    • Eligibility periods will be extended to have an end date of December 31, 2020.
    • This did not impact already scheduled appointments.
    • Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action or fees from examinees.
    • These extensions are being processed once a week.
    • Examinees should have received an email when their revised scheduling permits became available
  • We recognize the stress and uncertainty of this situation as many assessment programs are impacted by the backlog of examinees and the reduction of testing capacity at Prometric centers. We are actively working with the medical education and regulation community to mitigate the impact of testing disruption for U.S. and international medical graduates.
  • Additional USMLE information is available on the COVID-19 page on the USMLE website: https://www.usmle.org/frequently-asked-questions/#covid19

 

April 10:

  • Prometric announced today that they have decided to extend the shutdown of test centers in the U.S. and Canada until May 1st.
  • The full Prometric announcement is at: https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-update  
  • We have extended eligibility periods for all examinees who have been impacted by the Prometric closure. 
    • Eligibility periods were extended to have an end date of December 31, 2020.
    • This did not impact already scheduled appointments.
    • Examinees should have received an email when their revised scheduling permits became available
  • Additional USMLE information is available on the COVID-19 page on the USMLE website: https://www.usmle.org/frequently-asked-questions/#covid19

April 2:

  • Prometric released a new notice about testing sites and COVID-19 – please read at: https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-update
  • USMLE now has a COVID-19 Resources, FAQs and Updates page on its website at: https://www.usmle.org/frequently-asked-questions/#covid19
  • USMLE Step 3 registration functions on the FSMB website are open again, effective today, April 2.
    • When choosing your eligibility period, please keep in mind that the busiest testing times at Prometric are usually May through July. This will likely be compounded due to the closure of Prometric testing sites in March & April due to COVID-19.
  • We are still extending eligibility periods for all examinees who currently have a scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020. 
    • This requires no action or fees from examinees.
    • Eligibility periods will be extended to have an end date of December 31, 2020.
    • This will not impact already scheduled appointments.
    • Extensions will be processed in order of expiration date (in batches by which month the eligibility period ends in). We expect this will be completed by the week of April 13th. 
    • Examinees will receive an email when their revised scheduling permits are available. 

March 31:

Free Eligibility Extensions:

  • In response to Prometric center closures due to COVID-19, we are extending eligibility periods for all examinees who currently have a scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020. The eligibility periods will be extended to have an end date of December 31, 2020.
  • Extensions will be processed in order of expiration date (in batches by which month the eligibility period ends in). We expect this will be completed by the week of April 13th.
  • Extending the eligibility period will not impact already scheduled appointments.
  • Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action or fees from examinees.
  • Examinees will receive an email when their revised scheduling permits are available. 

USMLE COVID-19 Resource Page:

  • Visit the COVID-19 updates and resources page on the USMLE website for information and FAQs about USMLE responses to the pandemic, including information for examinees whose examination dates have been suspended or rescheduled. This information will be updated as the situation changes. 

Step 3 Registration & Eligibility Extension Functions:

  • Step 3 registration and eligibility extension functions on the FSMB website are expected to reopen on Thursday, April 2. 

Note:

  • Many of our staff are working remotely, so you may experience longer than normal response times when emailing or calling. We appreciate your patience. Stay healthy & well – we appreciate all you are doing for all patients right now!!

March 26:

  • We are extending eligibility periods for all examinees who currently have a scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020.
  • This process will continue into next week.
  • Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action from examinees.
  • Examinees will receive an email when their revised scheduling permits are available.
  • Step 3 registration and eligibility extension functions on the FSMB website will remain closed while we complete this process.
  • Continue to check back here and the USMLE website for updates.
  • Many of our staff are working remotely, so you may experience longer than normal response times when emailing or calling. We appreciate your patience.

March 19: 

  • We will be extending eligibility periods for all examinees who currently have a scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020.
  • We anticipate processing the eligibility period extensions beginning early next week and into the following week.
  • Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action from examinees.
  • Examinees will receive an email when their revised scheduling permits are available.
  • Continue to check back here and the USMLE website for updates.
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