USMLE Policy

Policy:

All students must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK)  examinations, and must take the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination in order to graduate with the M.D. degree.

Number of attempts. Students who fail to record a passing score after the third attempt of USMLE Step 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK are subject to dismissal from the School of Medicine. Students who fail USMLE Step 2 CS will be allowed to graduate without the receipt of a passing score on this examination.

Time limits. Failure to take USMLE Step 1 by March 15 of the year that follows the completion of the second year curriculum will be grounds for dismissal by the Student Academic Standing Committee (SASC). Any exceptions must be approved by the SASC. Failure to record a passing score on USMLE Step 1 within twelve months of completing second year coursework will be grounds for dismissal by the SASC. Any exceptions must be approved by the SASC prior to the end of the twelve month time limit.



Procedure:

USMLE Step 1:

  • All students must take USMLE Step 1 before beginning their first clerkship or Scholarly Activity, whichever comes first, before beginning a leave of absence for Ph.D. training if in the Medical Scientist Training Program, or before beginning any combined or coordinated program (i.e., MD/MPH).
  • Students must record a first attempt on USMLE Step 1 by August 1 after the completion of the second year curriculum. Any exception requires approval by the Associate Dean for Students.
  • Students will not be given credit for clerkships or Scholarly Activity completed prior to the receipt of a passing score on USMLE Step 1. In these instances, a notation of No Credit (NC) will be recorded until a passing score on Step 1 is received.
  • Students who fail USMLE Step 1 must meet with the Assistant Dean for Student Success to establish a plan for remediation.
  • Students who are on LOA or the structured review program (Basic Science Elective) will be removed from all future clinical assignments.  Their clinical schedules will be created, subject to availability, after they complete and submit an Intent to Return Form.  This form must be submitted after the student sits for Step 1 (regardless of first, second or third attempt) and a minimum of 1 week (noon Monday) before the start date for return to MS-3 coursework.
The following chart summarizes actions related to USMLE Step 1 failure:

 

Status

Continuation in Clerkship or Scholarly Activity

Return to Coursework

Failure of 1st Attempt

Academic Probation

Involuntary Leave of Absence may be required

Reviewed by SASC

Returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of passing score on Step 1 provided no other academic issues need resolution

Student’s option to complete any clerkship or Scholarly Activity currently in progress or withdraw immediately (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

After re-taking Step 1

Failure of 2nd Attempt

Academic Probation

Involuntary Leave of Absence may be required

Reviewed by SASC

Returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of a passing score on Step 2 CK provided no other academic issues need resolution

Student’s option to complete any clerkship or Scholarly Activity currently in progress or withdraw immediately (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Upon receipt of passing score on Step 1

Failure of 3rd Attempt

Academic Probation

Involuntary Leave of Absence required

Reviewed by SASC

Academic Probation continues until completion of all coursework

Required to withdraw immediately

Subject to dismissal

Return to coursework dependent upon SASC decision

 

USMLE Step 2 CK:

  • All students should take USMLE Step 2 CK at least five months before their expected diploma date.  Students in the Medical Scientist Training Program may be granted an exception to this time limit. Any other exceptions must be approved by the SASC or the Associate Dean for Students.
  • Failure to record a passing score within six months after the completion of all coursework will be grounds for dismissal by the SASC. Any exceptions must be approved by the SASC.
  • Students who fail USMLE Step 2 CK should meet with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education to discuss remediation.
The following chart summarizes actions related to Step 2 CK failure:

  Status

Failure of 1st Attempt

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of passing score on Step 2 CK provided no other academic issues need resolution

Failure of 2nd Attempt

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC; subject to dismissal

Academic probation continues until completion of all coursework

Failure of 3rd Attempt

Academic Probation and Involuntary Leave of Absence

Required to withdraw from coursework immediately

Reviewed by SASC; subject to dismissal

Academic Probation continues until completion of all coursework

 

USMLE Step 2 CS

  • All students must take USMLE Step 2 CS in order to graduate. Although a passing score on this examination is not required, documentation that a student took this examination prior to their diploma date is a requirement for the M.D. degree.
  • Failure to take USMLE Step 2 CS within six months after the completion of all coursework will be grounds for dismissal by the SASC. Any exceptions must be approved by the SASC.