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Have you been accused of “irregular behavior” when you took Step 1, Step 2 or Step 3 of the USMLE exam? If you have been accused of irregular behavior you have a right to defend yourself as well as have an attorney assist you. The USMLE Committee for Individual Review (CIR) meets periodically thought out the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by USLME applicants and/or examinees. An USLME accusation or findings of irregular behavior has a ripple effect on a future physician’s career. If the future physician is found to have engaged in irregular behavior, his/her score report and transcript will include the findings. Irregular behavior findings may be reported to the disciplinary data bank of the Federation of State Boards. State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes. State medical licensing Boards have denied license to individuals with a finding of USLME irregular behavior.

Actions that have been taken in the past by the CIR include annotating the individual’s USLME record with a finding of irregular behavior, barring access to USMLE for periods ranging from 0-to 3 years, and reporting the findings of irregular behavior to legitimately interested third parties. The USLME has a goal of being part of the decision making process for medical licensure. That means, the USLME want to supply data that affects the potential for obtaining a medical license. This is a significant action as any USLME transcript subsequently produced by the program alerts the transcript recipient (e.g. residency programs, state medical boards) to the irregular behavior findings.

State Boards will separate the applications with irregular behavior findings from routine administration to a more individual review of the candidate’s qualifications. This individual review will include his/her character and fitness to practice medicine.
USLME maintains formal process for investigating and resolving issues of potential misconduct that threatens the integrity of the examination process. Information on possible instances of irregular behavior is reviewed by an inter-organizational staff committee. This staff group reviews the information and determines whether sufficient evidence exist to warrant referring the matter to the CIR. This staff acts as a grand jury. The staff determines if there is sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. Because you are accused does not mean you are guilty or a decision has been made. The CIR will listen to your explanation.

The CIR is the body established by USMLE to formally review cases of suspected irregular behavior. Once a case is referred, the CIR conducts a review of the evidence including any statement or evidence supplied by the individual under investigation. The accused individual has a right to appear before the committee with an attorney to present his/her defense. It is important to properly submit documentation but prepare for your testimony with assistance from a medical legal team with a track record of success.

Studies have shown that the CIR found irregular activity in 60% of the cases it investigated. However, there is no statistics on the results of legally represented accused. Our law firm has experience in defending medical students before the CIR. Our firm has represented students in which we obtain a reversal of an initial finding of irregular behavior as well as defending the initial allegation. We are an experienced medical legal team will to assist you in continuing your medical career.

How to get you findings of USMLE Irregular Behavior Reversed

Has the USMLE Committee for Individual Review (CIR) finding of “irregular behavior” had a devastating ripple effect on your medical career? Once a finding of irregular behavior is determined. the USMLE will place a notation on any transcript supplied to medical board or residency program that requests a transcript. The USMLE finding of “irregular behavior” is reported to the disciplinary bank of the Federation of State Boards. When you apply for a State medical license or to a residency programs they will routinely query this data bank as part of their credentialing procedure.

The state board or residency program will then separate your application from other applications. You will be subject to a more detailed review of your qualifications. This individual review will include an inquiry into your fitness to practice medicine. If you do not attempt to remove the notation of “irregular behavior” from your USMLE transcript, this failure may end your career.
The USMLE test taking purported behaviors that lead to the decision that you participated in irregular behavior are too vast and vague to list here. It is important for you to understand exactly how vague are the guidelines for irregular behavior. At this point, we recognize that you may have been in the dark because of the vagueness of the guidelines as to what actions specifically landed you in hot water. We are certain that you have asked yourself “why me” or “what”! There are ways we can help increase your change of reversing the decision that you participated in ‘irregular behavior. All is not lost!

The solution to your nightmare is to hire a medical legal team that has experience in not only defending findings of “irregular behavior” but reversing the finding on appeal or on a request for reconsideration. Our team of lawyers and M.D.s can explore all the facts to accurately present the facts to the CIR. Many times if we are consulted timely, we can write an appeal. If the time for submitting an appeal has passed, we can ask the CIR for reconsideration of your case. The secret to success with an appeal or reconsideration is fully developing your facts to show that you did not have the intent to participate in irregular behavior. Many times we have been able to determine issues that were not initially considered because our medical legal team was able to fully discover all the facts . The decision to hire our firm has been a career saving step for many medical students.

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