USMLE Hearing? Organization, Timing, and Evidence are Crucial-Part 2

Friday, March 14, 2014
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

If you are a physician, medical student, or medical resident accused of "irregular behavior" by the United States Medical Licensee Examination (USMLE) Secretariat/National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), you must challenge this accusation and defend yourself.  You should request a hearing, plan on a personal appearance at the hearing before the Committee for Individualized Review (CIR), and obtain and submit evidence on your own behalf.  We do not recommend that you attempt to represent yourself in such a proceeding.  We only recommend that you obtain legal representation by an attorney familiar with USMLE hearings and health law issues.

This is the second part of this blog, click here to read part one.

What to Expect of the CIR Hearing.

The CIR consists of approximately a dozen members.  In addition, also present will be the Secretariat/Executive Director, the USMLE's attorney, a paralegal/member of the legal staff of the USMLE, and perhaps one or two other staff members.  The members of the CIR who will be asking questions and making the decision in your case include members and representatives from various medical schools, from the NBME, from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and, perhaps, from other organizations.  Most will appear at the hearing in person; however, from time to time CIR members attend the hearings telephonically.

You are required to submit all of your documentary evidence in advance of the CIR hearing.  This is so that your materials may be distributed to all of the CIR members ahead of time.

Your documents must be clear, well organized, and presented in a fashion to make reference to them during the hearing as easy as possible.  Again, this is where legal representation can be invaluable.

It is crucial that your arguments, your testimony, and your documentary evidence be presented as clearly and concisely as possible.  Given the limited time you will have, it is extremely important that you organize your thoughts, rehearse any comments you intend to make, and familiarize yourself with the charges and facts alleged against you, as well as with your own documents so that these may be easily utilized.

The Value of Legal Representation.

If you are not familiar with such hearings (and hopefully you are not), you will be extremely nervous and may misunderstand questions that are asked and issues that the CIR considers to be important.  Appearing in front of such a large group of individuals, all of whom may be asking you pointed questions and who will be deciding your future, is intimidating.  However, for attorneys who are experienced in such proceedings and are familiar with such hearings, this is their natural environment.  The attorney will be relaxed and on familiar turf.

Without an attorney, you may make misstatements that you do not realize.  You may not realize that clarifications are needed.  You may forget to present key evidence.  You may not understand the questions that are asked or may misinterpret them and answer incorrectly.  Additionally, how will you present your own testimony?  Will you ask yourself questions and answer them?  This is the realm of the practicing trial attorney.

A finding of irregular behavior by the CIR can have devastating consequences on your education, future training, ability to match for desirable residencies and even future employment opportunities.  It should be important enough for you to retain the service of an experienced attorney to represent you in such matters.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to medical students, residents, interns and fellows in academic disputes, graduate medical education (GME) hearings, contract negotiations, license applications, board certification applications and hearings, credential hearings, and civil and administrative litigations.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Tag Words: National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), medical students, medical resident, irregular behavior, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), Committee for Individualized Review (CIR), cheating, USMLE preparation, USMLE hearings, USMLE appeals, defense attorney, defense lawyer, legal representation, medical student lawyer, medical student attorney, medical resident lawyer, medical resident attorney, medical intern lawyer, medical intern attorney, how to prepare for a USMLE hearing, what to expect from a USMLE hearing, medical administrative hearings, administrative law, health law firm, The Health Law Firm

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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Response to: USMLE Hearing? Organization, Timing, and Evidence are Crucial-Part 2
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Varicella Zoster says:

Could you please elaborate a little bit more on the hearing process?

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