Nepal USMLE Cheating Scandal

Nepal USMLE Cheating Scandal
Nepal USMLE Cheating Scandal

A district court judge in Washington, D.C., has rejected an emergency plea to reinstate the validity of USMLE scores for 832 Nepali medical graduates whose examination results were nullified due to cheating allegations.

Lawsuit Alleges Violations by National Board of Medical Examiners

Latika Giri, MBBS, residing in Kathmandu, Nepal, initiated a class action lawsuit against the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The suit contends that the NBME failed to adhere to established procedures for score invalidation and discriminated against Nepali test-takers based on national origin, potentially violating the Civil Rights Act.


Emergency Motion Denied by Judge Christopher R. Cooper

Despite an emergency motion filed by Giri’s legal team seeking a preliminary injunction to restore score validity, Judge Christopher R. Cooper dismissed the request. At present, the written opinion and order are not accessible online.


NBME’s Ultimatum to Affected Test-Takers

Court documents reveal that the NBME provided Giri and others with three options following score invalidation: request reconsideration, retake the exam(s), or take no action. Opting for the first two options necessitated waiving the right to sue the NBME.


Impact on Giri’s Career Prospects

Giri, who undertook Steps 1, 2, and 3 of the USMLE in various locations, now faces the prospect of being unable to match for training this summer. Her scores, along with those of other plaintiffs, render them ineligible for the current cycle’s matching process.


Disputes Over Score Authenticity and Allegations of Cheating

\While Giri’s legal team maintains her innocence, discrepancies arise regarding the authenticity of her scores. Dr. Bryan Carmody of Eastern Virginia Medical School asserts that Giri’s scores were unremarkable, yet Giri’s team insists on her diligence and denies any cheating allegations.


Investigation into Cheating Patterns and Red Flags

The USMLE invalidated scores for Nepali examinees due to suspected irregularities, suggesting potential unauthorized access to exam content. According to the USMLE Press release, The investigation revealed anomalies in exam performance and flagged unusually fast and accurate responses from Giri, raising suspicions of misconduct.


Revelations from Court Documents and Exhibits

Court documents include exhibits detailing the methods employed by the NBME to identify cheating, including infiltrating online discussion groups where exam content was shared. Screenshots and messages from these groups provide evidence of malpractice and data sharing, prompting further scrutiny.


Broader Implications and Ongoing Investigations

The USMLE’s probe extends beyond Nepal, encompassing other countries like Jordan, Pakistan, and India. Multiple tips received by the NBME hint at widespread exam data sharing or trading, indicating a systemic issue warranting thorough investigation.


Calls for Transparency and Fairness

The denial of score validity and subsequent legal proceedings have sparked calls for transparency and fairness in the USMLE examination process. Stakeholders emphasized the need for clear procedures and equitable treatment of all examinees, irrespective of nationality or background.


Impact on International Medical Graduates

The controversy surrounding the USMLE score invalidation has significant ramifications for international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking licensure in the United States. IMGs play a vital role in the healthcare workforce and rely on standardized exams like the USMLE for career advancement; resolving this issue is crucial for the entire medical community.

Carmody also posted some of the screenshots on X. He previously told MedPage Today that he had heard of USMLE “recalls”—which can drastically vary in quality and accuracy—for years.