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Comment & Response |

Basic Science Content in the USMLE Step 1—Reply

Steven A. Haist, MD, MS1; Peter J. Katsufrakis, MD, MBA1; Gerard F. Dillon, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2014;311(13):1359-1360. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1186.
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In Reply We concur with Mr Barbieri regarding the importance of assessment being relevant to the profession for which the assessment is being used to judge competence. This is one principle of good test development. Initially one defines what is being measured; Step 1 assesses understanding and ability to apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine.1

Ensuring the relevance of test content is important. Two ways to ensure relevance are through practice analysis and by the carefully designed use of expert opinion. Practice analyses have helped guide many of the plans for changes to the USMLE. The USMLE program also relies on experts to develop questions.


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April 2, 2014
John S. Barbieri, BA
1Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2014;311(13):1358-1359. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1177.
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