Stepping back: Impact of pass-fail Step 1 scoring on dermatology applicants

      It is Emory University School of MedicineAbstract

      The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 recently transitioned to a pass-fail system from their three-digit scoring system. The implications of this change will ultimately influence medical students, residency programs, and, most importantly, patients. This article seeks to address some of the varying ethical and practical effects of this conversion to a pass/fail examination.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinics in Dermatology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Murphy, B. USMLE Step 1 moves to pass-fail: answers to 7 key questions. Available at: Accessed June 1, 2020.

        • Ngaage LM
        • Ge S
        • Gao C
        • et al.
        Trends in the academic credentials of matched dermatology residency applicants.
        Cureus. 2020; 12: e12411
        • Williams M
        • Kim EJ
        • Pappas K
        • et al.
        The impact of United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) step 1 cutoff scores on recruitment of underrepresented minorities in medicine: a retrospective cross-sectional study.
        Health Sci Rep. 2020; 3: e2161
        • Ryan MP
        • De Jong AL
        • Wagner RF.
        Medical school ranking and dermatology match results: an analysis of the 2018 match data.
        Dermatol Online J. 2019; 25 (13030/qt59p3z80r)
        • Barnes LA
        • Bae GH
        • Nambudiri VE.
        Sex and racial/ethnic diversity of US medical students and their exposure to dermatology programs [published correction appears in JAMA Dermatol. 2019 Feb 27].
        JAMA Dermatol. 2019; 155: 490-491