New research suggests that Step 1 scores on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) correlate significantly, though moderately, with dermatology resident in-training exam (ITE) scores, HealthDay News reports. Researchers at Ohio State University collected Step 1 and ITE scores for each of the three years of dermatology residency for 86 residents from five dermatology programs and recorded the pass/fail rates on students’ board examinations. Investigators found that USMLE Step 1 and ITE scores were significantly correlated, with correlation coefficients for ITE with USMLE Step 1 of 0.467, 0.541 and 0.527 for years one, two and three, respectively. According to HealthDay News, variability in ITE scores caused by differences in USMLE scores were 21.8 percent for first-year residents, 29.3 percent for second-year residents, and 27.8 percent for third-year residents. “Residency program directors should consider that only (about) 26 percent of ITE performance is related to Step 1 performance,” the authors write. “This is important when determining the amount of emphasis to be placed on Step 1 scores for residency selection. We also suggest individualizing resident ITE expectations based on USMLE scores, to maximize resident education and performance.” The study appeared in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.