USMLE Step I 2011 Practice and Orientation materials are available already.

The United States Medical Licencing Examination materials for Step I are already available at the USMLE website.

The materials can be downloaded in pdf format in:

The content outlines for this exam has been updated by a subcommittee of the step I committee.

The updated content can be found in this link:

USMLE committee recommends to students considering to exam Step I after May 2011 to be familiarized with the previous (2010) and the updated content outlines.

In future posts we will discuss the topics associated to the sample questions related to Biochemistry that are included in these materials.


AMEE Releases Agenda for the Next General Assembly

The International Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) has released  a provisional Agenda for its General Assembly that will be held in Malaga, Spain, on September 1st.


Palacio de los Congresos, Malaga

Palacio de los Congresos, Malaga


General Assembly 2009

Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga, Málaga, Spain

Tuesday 1 September: 1300-1400 hrs


Draft Agenda


1.   Welcome and apologies   
2.   Minutes of the General Assembly of AMEE held on 2 September in Prague, Czech Republic   GA1/09 
3.   President’s Report   
4.   Financial Statement  GA2/09 
  4.1 Proposed increase in the AMEE Individual Membership Fee GA3/09
5.   Elections to the Executive Committee GA4/09
6   Conferences GA5/09
  6.1 AMEE 2009 Malaga, Spain  
  6.2 AMEE 2010 Glasgow, UK  
  6.3 AMEE 2011 Vienna Option  
  6.4 AMEE 2012 Marseille Option  
  6.5 Other potential venues for AMEE Conferences  
  6.6 Ottawa Conference 2010  
7   Update on AMEE’s activities GA6/09
  7.1 MedEdWorld and AMEE member benefits  
  7.2 Medical Teacher  
  7.3 Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME)  
  7.4 AMEE Position Paper on Bologna Process  
  7.5 A Medical Teachers Charter  
  7.6 Accreditation of Teaching  
  7.7 Orpheus  
  7.8 AMEE courses  
  7.9 Other activities  
8   Report from WFME and Regional Associations  
9   Have your say: an opportunity for suggestions from members   
10   Any other business   
11   Date of next meeting   

USMLE and the H1N1 Influenza.

N1H1 Virus (CDC Influenza Lab)

N1H1 Virus (CDC Influenza Lab)


USMLE committee has announced that it is allowing that those candidates that are concerned about their ability to test safely, to reschedule USMLE test appointments without paying the additional fees.


If the current threat level continues, the eligibility period that end on July 31, will be extended beyond that date (please, visit the USMLE site for details)


USMLE recommends to monitor the website for updated information.


And of course, if you have flu-like symptoms, or you may have been recently exposed to a Flu patient, you should reschedule your exam.


Read the complete information here.

About Residency Match 2009

The largest match in History!


                   “Almost once” (aka “The Big Match”), Domain Sculpture Walk, Sidney, Australia.


According to a press release  of the NRMP, this was the largest match in History.


Active applicants:


15 638 seniors from US Med schools

10 874 graduates from International Schools

  2 015   from Osteopathic schools

  1 222 previously graduated



Total:  29 890 active applicants


PGY-1 Positions offered: 22 427 (the most ever offered by the NRMP)


Which active applicants matched in Post Graduate Year I (PGY-1)?


I have used the numbers in the tables of the NRMP for organizing this “gradient”  that illustrates the percentage of each population of graduates that matched. 


a) 93.1 % of active applicants of seniors of US allopathic medical schools.


b) 71.4 % of active applicants from Canadian Medical Schools matched


c) 69.9 % of active applicants of osteopathic medical schools matched


d) 61.3 % of active applicants of Fifth Pathway programs


e) 47.8 % of US citizens active applicants of International Medical Schools


f) 44.6 % of active applicants previously graduated of US allopathic medical schools


g) 41.6 % of Non-US citizens active applicants of International Medical Schools.


In total:



71,4 % of the active applicants for PGY-1 matched.


95.2 % of the positions were filled during the match.


64.9 % of the offered positions were filled by US Seniors, and 30.3 by other applicants.


A complete information, including all the tables can be found at the site of the NRMP


Advance Data Tables.

2009 Main Residence Match


                                                       Artist Brett Whitely, 1991; photo: Lyn Jones




How residence program directors choose medical students?

Medical  students always have speculated about the main criteria used by  Residence Programs Directors for choosing which candidates that apply for resident positions are going to be selected:  Step I score?  Reputation of the Medical school?   Research experience?  Step II Clinical Knowledge? Recommendation letters?


The last issue of Academic Medicine, (March, 2009) the Journal of the Association of the American Medical College, includes an article devoted to this topic: “Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey”, written by M. Green, P. Jones and J.Thomas.  


The authors  did a survey to around 2 500 program directors asking the relative importance of the different criteria they used to make the selection of an applicant.


Clinical performance, expressed in different ways  (Grades in required clerkships, Step II Clinical Skills pass,  Step II Clinical Knowledge results, etc ) together to  USMLE Step I score were among the first 6 ranked selection criteria.


The article includes the ranking of 14 Academic Selection Criteria, and even show tables for different specialties, so I strongly encourage all medical students, independently of the step  in which they are now in their medical school, to review this article, since some of the required strengths should be built in the medical school, and before the moment to apply to the match.


The complete article can be found here:

Green, Marianne; Jones, Paul, Thomas, John X. Jr.:  Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey.

Academic Medicine: March 2009,  Vol 24 –Issue 3 –pp362-367


Related post: How medical specialties select residents

AMEE 2009 Conference


The 2009 Conference of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) will take place in Malaga, Spain, from August 29th to September 2nd. This conference will be held together to the XIX  meeting of the Spanish Association for Medical Education (SEDEM). 

Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Malaga

Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Malaga


I received a few days ago the Provisional Program of the AMEE 2009 conference.  Besides the sessions in English, the conference will include also some sessions in Spanish and one workshop organized by students and for students.  Following, a general description of this scientific meeting. 


The program includes the following courses:

– Essential Skills in Medical Education

– Essential Skill in Medical Education Assessment

– Research Essential Skills in Medical Education

– Essential Skills in Technology Enhanced Medical Education


The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) will offer the course “Fundamentals of Assessment in Medical Education”


Preconference workshops, with emphasis in clinical simulation will be held in August 29 and 30. On Sunday 30 of August, wil be held workshops in Spanish and also preconference workshops organized by students for students and junior doctors.


The Conference will begin with an open plenary on Monday August 31 with the lectures  “Evidence based view on global health”, by Dr. Hans Rosting, professor of Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and “Rethinking Medical Education”, by Dr. Hillard Jason, from the University of Colorado. These lectures will be followed by symposia, large group sessions, workshops and master class sessions, presentation of posters and exhibits, etc.


The closing plenary will be held on September 2nd with the lecture “Learning, assessment, technology: in that order”, by Dr. Dylan Wiliam, Deputy Director of the Institute of Education, London.


The submission deadline for the abstracts for short communications, posters, fringe presentations, conference workshops and  Secrets of Success is  13 March.


For more information and for registration, you can access to



USMLE Step I, 2009: Important links


Step I Content description on line


Pdf version of Step I content description and sample material 2009


Overview of Step I content in the USMLE Bulletin of Information-2009


2009 Orientation Materials

– Multiple choice tutorial and Practice Test items Version FredV1 (current test delivery software)

– Multiple choice tutorial and Practice Test items Versions FredV2 (test delivery software for 2009)



And of course, review frequently the main link: