In the US and its territories, the individual medical licensing authorities ("state medical boards") of the varied jurisdictions grant a license to practice medicine. Each medical licensing authority sets its own rules and regulations and requires passing an examination that demonstrates qualification for licensure. Results of the USMLE are reported to those authorities to be used in granting the initial license to practice medicine. The USMLE provides them with a standard evaluation system for applicants for initial medical licensure.
This is intended as a quick description of the organizations that are directly involved or contribute to the USMLE program. The USMLE or the us Medical Licensing Examination program, is owned by two entities: the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and therefore the National Board of medical experts (NBME).
The FSMB may be a non-profit organization that represents the 70 state medical and osteopathic boards of the US and its territories. The individual medical boards are liable for licensing physicians, investigating patient complaints, and disciplining physicians who violate the law. The FSMB acts on behalf of its state board members in providing a national assessment program, providing tools that facilitate the documentation and distribution of credentials, sponsoring a national data base for tracking disciplinary actions, and acting as a national voice for the individual boards on problems with importance to licensing and practice.