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Acad Med. 2005 Oct;80(10 Suppl):S21-4.

What predicts USMLE Step 3 performance?

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  • 1Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8210, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Academic and other student-specific variables associated with United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 3 performance have not been fully defined.


We analyzed Step 3 scores in association with medical school academic-performance measures, gender, residency specialty, and first postgraduate year (PGY-l) of training program-director performance evaluations.


There were significant first-order associations between Step 3 scores and each of USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 scores, third-year clerkships' grade point average (GPA), Alpha Omega Alpha election, Medical Scientist Training Program graduation, broad-based specialty residency training, and PGY-l performance evaluation score. In a multiple linear regression model accounting for over 50% of the total variance in Step 3 scores, Step 2 scores, broad-based-specialty residency training, and GPA independently predicted Step 3 scores.


Individualized Step 3 scores provide medical schools with additional means to externally validate their educational programs and to enhance the scope of outcomes assessments for their graduates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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