Shifting The Implementation of USMLE Four-Attempt Limit Policy Change Till 2023!

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Shifting The Implementation of USMLE Four-Attempt Limit Policy Change Till 2023!

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Group of Concerned Students started this petition to United States Medical Licensing Examination and

This petition is on behalf of all International Medical Graduates (IMG)s who would be affected by the soon-to-be-implemented USMLE’s Four-Attempt limit policy. We are requesting for the shifting of the implementation of the proposed Four-Attempt limit policy change from July 2021 till 2023 (Post Pandemic), to enable all USMLE candidates who were grossly affected by the pandemic to complete all examination sequence.

Background and Justification

In February 2020, at the onset of the dreaded Covid-19 global outbreak, USMLE organization (USMLE) announced some changes and policies that would soon be implemented. Unfortunately, until recently, USMLE organization did not give a proper and detailed definition to the policies from the beginning, that a four attempt in any of the exams would render a candidate ineligible for other exams sequence. Shortly after this announcement, Covid-19 outbreak spiraled out of control in United States and across the globe, making thousands of USMLE candidates unable to write their exams. Despite several public health measures put in place, the virus burned through the populace and killed several millions of people all over the world. Sad to say, the virus has killed over 600,000 people in United states alone!

USMLE organization went further later, after the first announcement, to inform all and sundry of Four-Attempt limit policy change; a total departure from the current Six-Attempt limit policy. This proposed policy change would be implemented by July 2021. For clarity, this new policy means that any aspiring physician who had unsuccessfully attempted any of the USMLE exams up to four times would not be eligible to either write or register for any of the USMLE exams anymore; FOREVER! Such candidate is barred for life from writing USMLE exam and hence, hindered from becoming a practicing Medical Doctor in United States. The reasons given for this policy change are very weak and lacking merit.

It is widely believed that the date scheduled for the implementation of this policy change is not right at all due to catastrophic effects of the pandemic. The expectation of USMLE Organization is that candidates who would be potentially affected by this policy change should ensure they complete their exam sequence by writing all outstanding exams before the date set for implementation. We are all aware that, because of the pandemic factor, the period between February 2020 and this very moment has been characterized with ugly devastating effects of the pandemic, and therefore remains an unrealistic time for so many candidates to complete any exam sequence. Thousands of USMLE candidates were infected with Covid-19 while many others lost up to 2 or more family members and loved ones, other lost sources of income and livelihood. So many sad and heartbreaking stories. It is almost impossible for anyone down with Covid-19 or bereaved to write any exam let alone complete any exam sequence. Hence, we believe that it would be considerate for USMLE authority to give more time for students to write their exams before implementing this policy change.

Many aspiring physicians have been bruised emotionally, financially, and mentally in the last 15 months. The pandemic really unsettled a lot of things and people. If Covid-19 and its effects have not touched you, do not be deceived into thinking others were not scratched too. Granted, enough doses of vaccines are now available across United States for anyone who wants to be vaccinated. Yet, we believe that enough time should be given to people to be healed physically and emotionally, and recover well enough to write their exams.

Moreover, recall that shortly after the pandemic outbreak, borders were closed all over the world, thus, making international travels impossible. A lot of IMGs were restricted from travelling to take their examination. Considering Covid-19 factor, whose devastating effects are glaringly starring at our faces, we think it would be wicked and inconsiderate to go ahead with the implementation of this policy change now! More so, there are concerns everywhere now that many of the recent USMLE proposed changes have discrimination undertone, and there are strong indications for anyone to believe so. Most of the new USMLE policies and changes seem to have discrimination direction because IMGs seem to obviously be the main target. United States is undeniably in need of IMGs and should not shut the door against them with maliciously crafted policies. We urge the government of United States and our President, Joseph Biden, to help us look into this.

Our Requests

One, we are requesting for the shifting of the implementation of the proposed Four-Attempt limit policy till 2023. For humanity sake, we implore USMLE authority to exercise more patience before implementing the Four-Attempt limit policy change. Shifting the implementation of this policy change from the proposed date would not hurt anything or anyone. Rather, it would be a soothing relief for those hurting and in need of healing.

Two, we are also requesting that this Four-Attempt limit policy in any of the USMLE examination sequence should not be used as one of the requirements for writing and registering for USMLE step 3. If any candidate write and pass step 1 and 2ck successfully later in the year, such should be allowed to write step 3 in the future, regardless of whether he or she has attempted any of the exam sequence up to four times. Hence, the Four-Attempt limit policy should be excluded from the requirements for writing step 3.

Petition Closed

This petition had 2 supporters