There are questions regarding possible delay in reporting of scores for USMLE step 3 for those applicants that take the exam around Feb 2012. This may certainly be plausible, as from February 2012 there is going to be a change in format of the exam with the introduction of a new set of questions called - pharmaceutical ad or abstract. These questions will have multiple choice questions that assess an examinee's ability to appropriately interpret information presented both in the form of a research abstract and a pharmaceutical advertisement (which is a prevalent method of drug information in real life situations).
Since there is a change in the format, I would not be surprised to see delays in reporting score due to the implementation of the new rules.
Yup. according to the official USMLE announcements, there is going to be a Delay in score reporting for Step 3 Starting in mid-February 2012. This is because of change in the format of the examination not excluding the changes mentioned in the above paragraphs. There is also a decrease in MCQ questions from 480 questions to 474 questions and increase in the clinical case scenarios from 9 to 12. This is likely going to affect those who have given their exams around February 2012 through May 2012 with the date of score reporting being tentatively set as June 6th, 2012.
This presents unique problems for foreign medical graduates who are seeking H1B visa prior to starting residency. It is not know what percentage of applicants will be affected by this but I sincerely recommend applicants to have the Step 3 scores ready by February 1st of the year they start the residency. This allows for adequate time for the Graduate medical office (GME) to work on the visa applications and have the paperwork ready and submitted prior to joining the program.