doctor and patient


High-quality exams from NBME are built in collaboration with content experts to evaluate applicants’ competence for licensure.

United States Medical Licensing Exam® (USMLE®)

Created through a collaboration between the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and NBME, the United States Medical Licensing Exam® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. It measures an examinee’s ability to apply the knowledge, principles, and fundamental patient skills that are essential to safe and effective patient care.

USMLE content is developed and reviewed by medical school faculty and practicing physicians from around the United States.


The FSMB and NBME also cosponsor the Post-Licensure Assessment System, which is designed to measure the competence of currently and previously licensed physicians. 

The program includes the Special Purpose Exam, which is intended for:

  • Physicians seeking licensure reinstatement after a period of professional inactivity
  • Physicians involved in disciplinary proceedings in which the state board finds the need for evaluation
  • Physicians applying for licensure by endorsement who are several years beyond initial licensure