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Cost of USMLE

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Membership Revoked
15+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2004
    Do you guys ever think about how much money the NBME is making off of these boards? They are all administered by computer, so after paying for people to write the questions (which are reused year to year with only a few new ones being added), the rent of the test site and salary of those people who work at the sites, everything is profit. There are over 16,000 second year US medical students taking step I, 16,000 fourth year US medical students taking step II, and 23,000 residents taking step III every year. Add those numbers together, then add the number of foreign medical school students who also pay for this exam, either in their own country or our country. Then multiply that massive number by $435. Someone is making a lot of money off of us.


    you can pay me in bud
    7+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Dec 17, 2001
    West of the Haight
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      The way that it was explained to us by our OSR rep is that for the first year the cost will be $975, and after that they will not guarantee that the price won't go up. So expect to hand them a blank check when you guys get around to taking the exam.

      And yes, it is quite disheartening to realize that the NBME is making a killing off of us and the loans department are quite happy to add another $1000 to our debt load. We asked our loans people if they were going to factor the cost of the CSE into our 3rd year budgets and they said that they would, so I imagine that other schools will be as well. I wish that our school would cough up some cash and help us pay for these exams that are *required* for progression to the 3rd year and graduation.

      Disgruntled more than usual,


      Senior Member
      10+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      Feb 15, 2000
      Bethlehem, PA
        (note: to be read with all the sarcasm you can muster)

        Cracks me up how you all complain about the cost of these tests! I am an American who went to school at UAG (Mexico), and Step 1 and Step 2 cost me $660 each, but cost students at US schools $300-400. Oh, and if you take the test outside the US, you have to pay a surcharge of at least $100 (depends on where in the world you take it). I lucked out and graduated before the Step 2 CS went into effect, and since I went to school in Mexico, I never had to take the CSA, but those who did had to pay $1200 for the privilege, plus it was only administered in Philadelphia. Either way you look at it, you guys are LUCKY that you only have to pay what you do for those tests!

        (now read this with all seriousness)
        But you are right, they do charge a lot for the tests, and they say that it costs them to administer them, but I can't imagine that it costs twice as much to administer it to us as it does to you, since it's all given on computer now... Either way it's a huge chunk of change!


        Full Member
        7+ Year Member
        15+ Year Member
        Jan 29, 2004
          Originally posted by UCSFFreak
          I tried to put the fact that the Step II CSE will cost over $1000 , not including travel expenses or hotel, out of my mind.

          I said from the beginning that if they just called it what it really was, I'd be happy to send someone a check for $1000 and be done with it. They'd make more money if they didn't actually administer any test, anyway.
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