Council on Curriculum

United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 Policy


USMLE Step 1 General Requirements
  1. Students are not allowed to withhold their USMLE Step 1 score results from the School of Medicine.
  2. A passing score on USMLE Step 1 is required for promotion to Year 6.
  3. A passing Step 1 score determined by USMLE is required for graduation from the School of Medicine.
  4. Students must show readiness to sit for USMLE Step 1 by achieving ≥ 67 score on the CBSE exam. (See Council on Curriculum policy on Criteria, Deadlines, and Preparation for Taking USMLE Step 1.)
  5. BA/MD and MD Only students will have a USMLE Step 1 deadline of 28 months, ending September 30, following the start date of Human Structure Function IV. (This deadline also applies to Oral Surgery/MD students who matriculated prior to June 2010.) (See Council on Curriculum policy on Criteria, Deadlines, and Preparation for Taking USMLE Step 1 for exceptions.)
  6. Failure to pass USMLE Step 1 in one year, beginning the day after the deadline set forth above, fulfills criteria for separation.
  7. A maximum of 3 attempts, time permitting, to pass USMLE Step 1 are allowed. Failure to pass Step 1 in 3 attempts fulfills criteria for separation.
  8. BA/MD students have a maximum of 8 years from their matriculation date as a student at the School of Medicine to complete the required curriculum to achieve the M.D. degree.
  9. MD Only students, as well as Oral Surgery/MD students who matriculated prior to June 2010, have a maximum of 6 years from their matriculation date as a student at the School of Medicine to complete the required curriculum to achieve the M.D. degree.
Criteria, Deadlines, and Preparation for Taking USMLE Step 1
  1. Criteria for taking the USMLE Step 1 examination:
    1. BA/MD and MD only students must have officially promoted to Year 4 and successfully completed (achieved a passing grade in) the Year 4 courses listed below:
      • MED 9472: Behavioral Science
      • MED 9408: Pharmacology
      • MED 9401: Docent Rotation-Year IV OR MED 9471: Family Medicine
      • Students must also have taken the following course: MED 9482: Patient, Physician, Society I
    2. All students must have shown readiness for Step 1 through the CBSE, as set forth by the USMLE Step 1 Preparation and Registration Policy. (See 2 a-g below).
    3. Students must currently be enrolled in the UMKC School of Medicine to be eligible to sit for the USMLE Step 1 examination.
  2. Preparation and Registration for CBSE and USMLE Step 1

    1. Dates for CBSE and USMLE Step 1 will be set by Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Curriculum in planning the Year 4 curriculum for students. The student’s CBSE date and Step 1 target date cannot be rescheduled without petitioning the Council on Curriculum.
    2. The CBSE will be administered monthly. All CBSE administrations will be provided in the computer testing center and are paid for by the school. The CBSE will be administered only at the School of Medicine.
    3. All students must adhere to the posted sign-up deadlines for CBSE as set by the Office of Educational Support Services. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are signed up for the correct test date.
    4. In order to sit for CBSE, a student must meet all criteria for promotion to Year 4 and must have a cumulative science GPA of 2.80 or better.
    5. Minimum CBSE performance to register and sit for USMLE Step 1:
      1. Students who score 67 or above on the CBSE are automatically cleared to register and sit for USMLE Step 1. (A CBSE score of 67 predicts a Step 1 score of between 190 and 195.)
        1. 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 target examination date.
      2. Students who score between 62-66 will be eligible to register only for USMLE Step 1 but may not sit until they have achieved a score of 67 or better on their second CBSE. Students who score between 62-66 do not have to show readiness to sit for their second CBSE.
      3. Students who score below 62 may not register for USMLE Step 1.
        1. A student scoring below 62 on their first attempt at CBSE must wait a minimum of 30 days after receiving the score before sitting for a second attempt. The student must also show readiness in order to register for the second CBSE. The exact criteria for readiness will be determined by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
    6. Students failing to reach the required CBSE score of 67 after two attempts must show readiness to sit for Step 1 by non-NBME criteria approved by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
    7. Failure to appear at a student’s scheduled CBSE will result in a letter of unprofessional behavior placed in the student’s file. In consultation with the Education Team Coordinator, the student must reschedule another CBSE on OASIS and must notify the ETC and the Assistant Proctor of the Office of Medical Education Support Services of the rescheduled date.
  3. Deadline for taking USMLE Step 1 examination:
    1. BA/MD and MD students will have a Step 1 deadline of 28 months, ending September 30, following the start date of Human Structure Function IV.
    2. Alterations to a student’s schedule (e.g., repeating courses) will not change a student’s Step 1 deadline, with the following exceptions:
      1. If a student has not completed the Year 4 courses listed above (1a-b) by the September 30 deadline set forth in 2a, then the last day of the month in which the student completes those courses, plus one additional study month,, becomes the student’s Step 1 deadline.
      2. If a student takes a Medical Leave of Absence (approved by the Council on Evaluation), the student’s Step 1 deadline will be extended by the number of months on approved Medical Leave.
    3. Failure to take USMLE Step 1 by the deadlines set forth in 3a-b 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. The Associate Dean for Curriculum has certified the student’s readiness to sit for Step 1.
      2. The student has a documented, confirmed date to sit for Step 1 during the month immediately following the deadline set forth in 3a-b.
    4. A student may return from Administrative Leave of Absence in order to sit for Step 1 upon meeting the following criteria:
      1. The Associate Dean for Curriculum has certified the student’s readiness to sit forStep 1.
      2. 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.
    5. If a student does not sit for Step 1 by his/her deadline, that student may not begin or continue in any required two-month rotations until the student has sat for Step 1 or has secured an examination date within the first week of the clerkship.
Step 1 Failure Policy
  1. Advising Procedure for Students Failing USMLE Step 1
    1. The student is referred to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for advice and may be referred to appropriate support service for counseling.
    2. The student must then meet as soon as possible with the Associate Dean for Curriculum and his/her ETC to design an appropriate Step 1 preparation program. The exact criteria for readiness will be determined by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
    3. When readiness criteria are met, the student will be cleared by the Associate Dean for Curriculum to retake the exam.
  2. Curriculum Policies for Students Failing USMLE Step 1
    1. Failure on First Attempt of USMLE Step 1:
      1. One-Month Clerkship
        1. Students receiving “notification of failure” while enrolled in a one-month clerkship will be allowed to complete the clerkship.
      2. Two-Month Clerkship
        1. Students receiving “notification of failure” in the first month of a two-month clerkship will be allowed to complete only the first month. Withdrawal from the second month of two-month clerkship is mandatory. “Incomplete” will be issued until the second month is satisfactorily completed. The second month of this split two-month clerkship must be completed within twelve months after the completion of the first month or the student must re-enroll in the entire two-month clerkship to receive credit.
        2. Students receiving “notification of failure” in the second month of a two-month clerkship will be allowed to complete the clerkship.
      3. Enrollment in two-month rotations will not be permitted until successful completion of USMLE Step 1.
      4. Curriculum schedules while preparing to sit for a second Step 1 exam may only include the following:
        1. Independent Study Month (policy allows for 3 study months for credit)
        2. Vacation
        3. Not-for-Credit study months (a maximum of 2 are allowed for preparation to re-take Step 1). NOTE: Not-for-Credit study months will not count toward the required 38 medicine months and may affect the student’s graduation date.
        4. Leave of Absence, if allotted study months (for-credit and not-for-credit) and vacation have already been used. NOTE: A student may not sit for Step 1 while on Leave of Absence. In order to return from LOA, the student must show readiness and be approved by the Associate Dean for Curriculum. During the month in which the student returns from LOA, he/she must enroll in one of the courses listed in 5 below.
      5. While awaiting results on a second Step 1 attempt, students may only enroll in the following one-month courses:
        • MED 9570 Preceptorship
        • MED 9471 Family Medicine
        • MED 9571 Psychiatry
        • Humanities course
        • Clinical/Research electives
        • No required two-month clerkships may be taken.
    2. 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 administrative leave of absence until readiness for a third attempt at Step 1 has been verified by the Associate Dean for Curriculum.
      2. Students will be placed on Step 1 probation after failure to successfully pass USMLE Step 1 on the second attempt.
      3. While awaiting results on a third attempt at Step 1, students may only enroll in clinical/research electives. No required rotations may be taken.
    3. Failure After Third Attempt
      1. A student who fails on the 3rd attempt at Step 1 meets criteria for separation from the School of Medicine.
      2. Students will automatically be placed on an 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.

Revised 6/30/13