An examination of the relationship between clinical skills examination performance and performance on USMLE Step 2

Acad Med. 2003 Oct;78(10 Suppl):S27-9. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200310001-00009.


Purpose: To examine the relationship between performance on a large-scale clinical skills examination (CSE) and a high-stakes multiple-choice examination.

Method: Two samples were used: (1) 6,372 first-taker international medical graduates (IMGs); and (2) 858 fourth-year U.S. medical students. Ninety-seven percent of IMGs and 70% of U.S. students had completed Step 2. Correlations were calculated, scatter plots produced, and regression lines estimated.

Results: Correlations between CSE and Step 2 ranged from .16 to .38. The observed relationship between scores confirms that CSE score information is not redundant with MCQ score information. This result was consistent across samples.

Conclusions: Results suggest that the CSE assesses proficiencies distinct from those assessed by current USMLE components and therefore provides evidence justifying its inclusion in the medical licensure process.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Foreign Medical Graduates / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • United States