Council on Curriculum

United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 / Step 2 CK Policies


USMLE Step 1 Policies
USMLE Step 2 CK Policies
Additional USMLE Policies

 

USMLE Step 1 General Requirements
  1. Students must be enrolled in School of Medicine coursework in order to sit for USMLE examinations. Students are not permitted to take an examination while on leave of absence.
  2. Students are not permitted to withhold USMLE score results from the School of Medicine.
  3. Students are not permitted to take USMLE Step 1 until they have successfully demonstrated readiness to the Council on Curriculum (as defined below).
  4. Students must pass the USMLE Step 1 examination within three attempts (time permitting).
  5. Failure to pass USMLE examinations on the first or second attempt may result in a revised or extended curriculum. Additionally, students earning a second-attempt failing score on the USMLE Step 1 examination will be placed on Administrative Leave of Absence.
  6. Students earning a third-attempt failing score on any USMLE examination meet criteria for separation (dismissal) from the program and will be placed on immediate Administrative Leave of Absence. Graduation and deadline criteria are not suspended in order to permit three attempts on an examination.
  7. Once students show readiness (as defined below), they are expected to sit for the USMLE Step 1 examination by the individual target date determined by the Council on Curriculum.
  8. Students have a USMLE Step 1 first-attempt deadline of 28 months, ending September 30, following the start date of Human Structure Function IV. Failure to pass USMLE Step 1 in one year, beginning the day after the September 30 deadline, fulfills criteria for separation (dismissal) from the program.
Minimum Criteria for the First-Attempt USMLE Step 1 Examination
  1. BA/MD and MD students must officially promote to Year 4 and successfully complete (achieve a passing grade) in the Year 4 courses listed below:
    1. a. MED 9472: Behavioral Science
    2. b. MED 9408: Pharmacology
    3. c. MED 9401: Docent Rotation-Year IV OR MED 9471: Family Medicine
  2. MED 9482: Patient, Physician, Society I (a grade must be received)
  3. BA/MD and MD students must demonstrate readiness for the USMLE Step 1 examination by successfully completing the Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE).
Preparation and Registration for CBSE and USMLE Step 1
  1. The Associate Dean for Curriculum determines CBSE and USMLE Step 1 target dates for each BA/MD and MD student. The target date is the date the school deems ideal for successful completion of Step 1 based upon an individual student’s academic and readiness performance and is revised on an ongoing basis.
  2. The CBSE is administered only at the School of Medicine.
  3. All students must adhere to the registration deadlines for the CBSE as set by the Department of Medical Education Support Services. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are signed up for the correct test date.
  4. In order to sit for the CBSE, a student must meet all criteria for promotion to Year 4 and have a cumulative science GPA of 2.80 or better.
  5. Minimum CBSE performance to register and sit for USMLE Step 1:
    1. a. A student scoring 67 or above on the CBSE is automatically cleared to register and sit for USMLE Step 1.
    2. b. A student who has shown readiness through the CBSE to sit for Step 1 cannot postpone any required clerkship that is scheduled after the student’s assigned USMLE Step 1 individual target date.
    3. c. A student scoring 62-66 on a first-attempt CBSE will be eligible to register for USMLE Step 1, but may not sit for USMLE Step 1 until they achieve a score of 67 or better on their second-attempt CBSE. A student scoring 62-66 on a first-attempt CBSE does not have to show readiness to sit for a second CBSE.
    4. d. A student scoring 62 or below on a first-attempt CBSE may not register for USMLE Step 1. The student must show readiness in order to register for their second CBSE. The USMLE Counselor will determine the exact readiness criteria.
  6. Students failing to reach the required CSBE score of 67 after two attempts must show readiness to sit for Step 1 by criteria determined by the USMLE Counselor and the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
  7. Failure to appear at a scheduled CBSE will result in a formal report of unprofessional behavior to the Council on Evaluation.
Deadline for Taking USMLE Step 1 Examination
  1. BA/MD and MD students have a Step 1 first-attempt deadline of 28 months, ending September 30, following the start date of Human Structure Function IV. The deadline for off-track students is determined by the Associate Dean of Curriculum.
  2. Alterations to a student’s schedule (e.g., repeating courses) will not change a student’s September 30 Step 1 deadline.
    1. a. If a student has not completed the Year 4 courses listed above by the September 30 deadline, then the last day of the month in which the student completes those courses, becomes the student’s Step 1 deadline.
  3. Failure to take USMLE Step 1 by the deadlines set forth above will place a student on immediate Administrative Leave of Absence. A student may petition the Council on Curriculum for an exception to this Administrative Leave in order to enroll in a Not-for-Credit Study Month if both of the following criteria are met:
    1. a. The Associate Dean for Curriculum has certified the student’s readiness to sit for Step 1.
    2. b. The student has a documented, confirmed date to sit for Step 1 during the month of his/her return. The student’s curriculum upon return will be determined by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
General USMLE Step 1 Failure Policies
  1. Students failing the first or second attempt USMLE Step 1 examination must meet with the USMLE Counselor and his/her ETC to design an appropriate Step 1 preparation program as soon as possible. The criteria for second or third-attempt readiness will be determined by the USMLE Counselor.
  2. The Associate Dean for Curriculum will determine when a student has successfully completed the readiness criteria for a second or third attempt.
  3. The Associate Dean for Curriculum will determine necessary curriculum and/or schedule changes for students failing the first or second attempt USMLE Step 1 examination.
Curriculum Policies for Students Failing USMLE Step 1

Failure on First Attempt of USMLE Step 1

  1. One-Month Clerkship: Students receiving “notification of failure” while enrolled in a one-month clerkship are permitted to complete the clerkship.
  2. Two-Month Clerkship
    1. a. Students receiving “notification of failure” in the first month of a two-month clerkship are permitted to complete only the first month, and must withdraw from the second month of two-month clerkship. An “Incomplete” grade will be issued for the entire rotation until the second month is satisfactorily completed. The second month must be completed within twelve months, or the grade will lapse to “No Credit/Fail”.
    2. b. Students receiving “notification of failure” in the second month of a two-month clerkship are permitted to complete the clerkship.
  3. Enrollment in two-month rotations will not be permitted until successful completion of USMLE Step 1.
Failure on Second Attempt of USMLE Step 1
  1. Students will be placed on an Administrative Leave of Absence after a second failure on USMLE Step 1. They will remain on an Administrative Leave of Absence until readiness for a third attempt at Step 1 has been verified by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
  2. While awaiting results on a third attempt at Step 1, students may not enroll in required rotations.
Failure After Third Attempt
  1. A student who fails the 3rd attempt at Step 1 meets criteria for separation (dismissal) from the program.
  2. Students will automatically be placed on Administrative Leave of Absence after a third failure on USMLE Step 1 and will remain on Administrative Leave of Absence until the student’s status in the program has been determined.
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) General Requirements
  1. Students must be enrolled in School of Medicine coursework in order to sit for USMLE examinations. Students are not permitted to take an examination while on leave of absence.
  2. Students are not permitted to withhold USMLE score results from the School of Medicine.
  3. Students are not permitted to take USMLE Step 2 CK until they have successfully demonstrated readiness to the Council on Curriculum.
  4. Students must pass the USMLE Step 2 CK examination within three attempts (time permitting).
  5. Failure to pass USMLE examinations on the first or second attempt may result in a revised or extended curriculum.
  6. Students earning a third-attempt failing score on any USMLE examination meet criteria for separation (dismissal) from the program and will be placed on immediate Administrative Leave of Absence. Graduation and deadline criteria are not suspended in order to permit three attempts on an examination.
  7. Students are expected to sit for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination by the target date determined by the Council on Curriculum. Students on track to graduate in May of Year 6 must sit for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination by December 31 of Year 6. Failure to take the examination by this deadline may have consequences for participation in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
  8. Passing scores on all USMLE examinations must be received by the Council on Evaluation by April 30, prior to May commencement ceremonies of Year 6, for any student to be eligible to participate in those ceremonies. Students graduating in August or December of Year 6 must submit passing Step 2 CK scores to the Council on Evaluation prior to graduation.
Requirements and Readiness Criteria for Taking USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK)

1. Requirements for Taking the USMLE Step 2 CK Examination

  • a. All students must successfully complete the following clerkships:
    • i. MED 9501: Year 5 Docent Rotation
    • ii. MED 9503: Pediatrics
    • iii. MED 9505: General Surgery
    • iv. MED 9506: Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • b. Students must show readiness to sit for USMLE Step 2 CK by achieving a qualifying score on the Step 2 CK readiness formula, which is calculated upon completion of items a. i-iv above.

2. Readiness Criteria for USMLE Step 2 CK

  1. a. Students who achieve a qualifying score on the Step 2 CK readiness formula will be permitted to sit for Step 2 CK.
  2. b. Students who fail to achieve a qualifying score on the Step 2 CK readiness formula must complete the following:
    1. i. Meet with the Associate Dean of Curriculum and/or USMLE Counselor to determine any necessary curriculum changes, establish a readiness plan, and set a Comprehensive Clinical Skills Examination (CCSE).
    2. ii. A student scoring 74 or above on the CCSE is automatically cleared to register and sit for USMLE Step 2 CK.
    3. iii. A student scoring 68-73 on a first-attempt CCSE must schedule a second CCSE.
    4. iv. A student scoring 67 or below on a first-attempt CCSE is not permitted to schedule a second CCSE. The student must meet with the USMLE Counselor and show readiness in order to register for a second CCSE. The USMLE Counselor will determine any necessary curriculum changes.
    5. v. No more than two attempts are permitted on the CCSE examination.
    6. vi. Students failing to reach the required CCSE score of 74 after two attempts must show readiness with criteria determined by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
    7. vii. Failure to appear for or an unexcused absence from a scheduled CCSE examination will result in a report of unprofessional behavior.
Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) Failure Policy
  1. Failure After First or Second Attempts
    1. a. The student must meet with the Associate Dean for Curriculum and/or USMLE Counselor and his/her ETC as soon as possible to alter their curriculum and determine readiness criteria.
    2. b. When readiness criteria are met, the Associate Dean for Curriculum will clear the student to retake Step 2 CK.
  2. Failure After Third Attempt
    1. a. The student has met criteria for separation (dismissal) from the program.
    2. b. The student will be automatically placed on an Administrative Leave of Absence and will remain on Administrative Leave of Absence until their status in the program has been determined.
USMLE Step 1 or 2 Review Program Study Month Policy

The following policy applies ONLY to students enrolled in formal USMLE Step 1 or 2 Review Programs:

  1. The student must submit to the Council on Curriculum at least one month prior to the beginning of the Study Month a completed Study Month Form.
  2. The student must submit with his/her Study Month form proof of enrollment from the formal USMLE Review Program.
  3. The student must also submit with his/her Study Month form a copy of his/her approved Clinic Excuse form.
  4. The student will be allowed to miss up to four weeks of Outpatient Continuing Care Clinic while enrolled in a Study Month and participating in a formal USMLE Review Program. The student is responsible for making arrangements with his/her Docent to re-schedule the missed clinic days.