Alex Mechaber, M.D., Named to National Committee for Student Medical Licensing Exam

Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, has been appointed to serve as a member of the prestigious Step 1 Committee of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), a three-step exam for medical licensure in the U.S.

“I am extremely honored by this appointment,” said Mechaber, associate professor of medicine. “Ensuring that the next generation of physicians is properly educated is the first step in advancing medical care for the future. I’m eager to play a role in developing the criteria on a national level.”

Mechaber, who oversees all programs in undergraduate medical education at the Miller School, is a decorated medical educator who continues to see patients and teach a number of courses. He hopes to continue his commitment to educational excellence as he joins the nationwide committee of distinguished faculty, teachers, investigators and clinicians.

Step 1 is the first licensing exam medical students take. Administered after the second year of medical school, the test assesses basic science knowledge and the ability to apply critical concepts of the sciences to the practice of medicine. The multiple-choice questions are prepared by committee members and cover the traditional disciplines of anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology, along with interdisciplinary areas including genetics, aging, immunology, nutrition, and molecular and cell biology.

“The appointment of Dr. Mechaber to this committee reflects the excellence of medical education and leadership at the Miller School,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School, and CEO of University of Miami Health System. “We are extremely proud that the national board has recognized his expertise.”

The Step I committee of the USMLE “helps define the medical knowledge requirement for U.S. physicians in order to be granted a license to practice medicine,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., Executive Dean for Education and Policy. “This is an important national post in the role of protecting the public by assuring high-quality assessment of health care providers.”

In his appointment notice, Donald E. Melnick, M.D., president of the National Board of Medical Examiners, which supports the USMLE, said Mechaber shares a “commitment to excellence in the evaluation process for licensure and will make a distinguished contribution in this role.”

Mechaber’s three-year term runs through March 2015.

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