Exploring Foreign Countries Where USMLE Scores Are Accepted

Most medical professionals seeking job opportunities abroad are likely to have heard about the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This is because graduates looking to practice in the United States are evaluated using the USMLE test. The three-step test evaluates a physician’s medical knowledge, ideas, principles, and ability to apply information and give essential patient care. Also, it ensures that the doctors’ qualifications are not fraudulent or false. However, the assessment can be a massive hurdle to getting licensed in the U.S.

In this article, we will briefly explore the different steps of the USMLE and simultaneously show some foreign countries that accept USMLE scores.


The assessment comprises three steps. Each explicitly assesses physicians’ understanding, mastery and proficiency.

Step 1 evaluates a physician’s understanding of fundamental science concepts relevant to medical practice and the ability to apply them in clinical scenarios.

Step 2 is separated into two parts, Clinical Skills (CS) and Clinical Knowledge (CK), and as stated, it evaluates a physician’s clinical skills and knowledge. CS examines your ability to interact and correspond proficiently with patients while collecting medical information, while CK assesses your comprehension of clinical concepts and diagnostic reasoning skills.

Lastly comes Step 3, the final step of the USMLE, which focuses on your clinical decision-making and management. It evaluates your capacity to apply your medical knowledge and skills as you deliver safe and effective patient care in diverse clinical environments.

Importance of USMLE

Getting a high score on the USMLE not only certifies you to work and practice medicine across the U.S. but also holds immense significance for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) aspiring to practice medicine abroad.

Exceptional USMLE scores substantially improve physicians’ prospects of obtaining residency positions and medical licensure in foreign countries. USMLE is recognized worldwide as a standardized metric for indicating a physician’s preparedness to engage in unsupervised medical practice, and medical regulatory authorities often rely on the results when evaluating a physician’s qualifications and competence.

With all that being said, when you begin your preparations for your attempt at the exam, we recommend you utilize a question bank (Qbank) as part of your study regimen, as it increases your chances of scoring well. A good choice for one is CanadaQBank, it is an easily accessible and inexpensive way to practice questions under test conditions, and it’s kept up to date on new questions and clarifications. It covers topics ranging from Anatomy to Psychology and possesses a question database that lets you become acquainted with several different question systems.

The test can be taken in three different modes: Timed, Untimed, and Instructor, and all the questions have answers and extensive explanations so that you can go over your options and see where you stand. CanadaQbank allows you to choose the number of questions to answer in each block and how many subjects you get tested on.

By regularly practicing with CanadaQbank, you can acquaint yourself with the layout and scope of the USMLE, thereby improving your confidence and performance when you take the exam.

Foreign Countries that accept USMLE

As noted above, the USMLE is a standardized exam utilized by medical licensing boards to decide the competency of medical graduates to practice within the United States. Due to its stringent standards, some countries accept the USMLE results from IMG looking to practice medicine in the countries. We’ll discuss below some of these countries and the requirements they require in addition to your USMLE results.

United Kingdom

The supreme health authority in the United Kingdom is the General Medical Council (GMC), and they consider USMLE scores when granting licenses to IMGs who apply for registration. If you’re interested in practicing medicine in the United Kingdom, you must undergo the GMC registration process.

To be eligible for GMC registration and to have your USMLE accepted in the UK, there are a few critical criteria to remember. First, you should have successfully cleared Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE within four attempts because you stop being eligible after the fourth attempt. Second, if your results are over two years old, you must have been actively practicing medicine for at least three of the last five years before submitting your application. These requirements ensure that applicants have recent experience and are kept abreast of changes in the ever-evolving field of medicine.

The registration process involves submitting the necessary documentation to the GMC, such as proof of qualifications and medical work background. After registration, you may be required to complete a period of internship or foundation training in approved hospitals or healthcare institutions in the UK. This provides practical experience and a foundation for further specialization.

Depending on your career goals, you may pursue specialty training in your desired field through specialized training programs. They offer structured training and lead to certification in a specific specialty, further enhancing your professional development and career prospects in the U.K.

Australia and New Zealand

International medical graduates who have passed the USMLE can use their scores to apply for registration with the Medical Council of Australia or the Medical Council of New Zealand, the premier health authorities of their respective countries. They typically mandate that you take the Australian Medical Council (AMC) exams or the New Zealand Registration Examination (NZREX). These exams carefully evaluate your clinical knowledge and skills, ensuring they align with the specific medical practice requirements in Australia or New Zealand.

Once you pass the necessary exams, you can go forward to the next phase: to apply for registration with the Medical Board in Australia or the Medical Council in New Zealand. Doing this grants you the official recognition and authorization to practice medicine in these countries, allowing you to embark on a fulfilling medical career in Australia or New Zealand.

IMGs with a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognized by both the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS) and who have concluded training or assessment with an approved competent authority may apply for provisional registration via the Competent Authority pathway.


The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) recognizes USMLE scores when considering the certification of IMGs. Still, they also have an added criteria of requiring you to first secure a job with one of the many healthcare institutions in Singapore and complete a one-year supervised clinical training program in an approved healthcare institution.

During the supervised clinical training period, you will work under the supervision of a designated supervisor and gain practical experience in various medical specialties. This phase is pivotal as it allows you to showcase your capacity to apply your medical skills in a realistic environment. It’s a critical period where you can demonstrate your competence and meet the requirements for obtaining complete registration with the Singapore Medical Council.

To be eligible for a complete registration, you must present the required paperwork, such as proof of your medical credentials, a letter of a job offer from the prospective employer, evidence of satisfactory completion of supervised training, and meeting the specified language proficiency requirements. Satisfying these requirements assures the SMC that you possess the qualifications, experience, and linguistic mastery to deliver exceptional medical care and contribute effectively to Singapore’s healthcare system.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is made up of seven emirates, and each of them has varying licensing processes for IMGs intending to practice. Typically, IMGs undergo the licensing process with the relevant health authority, such as the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) or The Health Authority Abu Dhabi(HAAD). The good news is that both health authorities recognize USMLE scores as part of their certification process. This means physicians who have taken the USMLE and are interested in practicing medicine in the UAE can utilize their scores to apply for certification.

It is common for physicians aspiring to practice medicine in the UAE to undergo the licensing process with the relevant health authority. This may involve passing licensing exams, providing supporting documents, and completing necessary paperwork.

After completing the licensing process, you may be required to undergo dataflow verification to validate your medical qualifications and experience. This verification process is conducted by a designated authority to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the provided information. Additionally, post-licensing requirements must be met by IMGs to maintain their licensed status. These requirements typically include completing a designated period of supervised practice, actively participating in continuing medical education activities, and adhering to the regulations and guidelines established by the respective health authority.


Excelling in the USMLE showcases your clinical expertise and underscores your unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence in the medical field. A strong performance enhances your chances during the residency application process, unlocks opportunities for diverse training programs, and heightens the likelihood of securing coveted positions within foreign healthcare systems.