PURPOSE
To outline the deadline by which medical students must complete the USMLE Step 1 exam, and the process for remediating a Step 1 exam failure.

SETTING/AUDIENCE
All medical students

LCME STANDARD
8.4 Evaluation of Educational Program Outcomes

POLICY

  1. All students are required to pass the USMLE Step 1 exam in order to graduate from the School. Students are allowed a finite number of attempts at the USMLE Step 1, as specified in the SOM Bylaws and Regulations.
  2. Students who do not pass USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt will be placed on Academic Warning. Students who do not pass USMLE Step 1 on the second attempt will be placed on Academic Probation. Failure to pass the exam after the maximum allowable attempts as outlined in the SOM Bylaws and regulations is grounds for a dismissal recommendation by the Committee on Student Promotions (CSP).
  3. Timing of First Attempt
    1. All students are required to complete USMLE Step 1 on or before the Sunday prior to the start of the Transition to Clerkships course. The specific date will be published at the beginning of the academic year and reviewed in Second Year Orientation.
    2. Students who do not meet this deadline and do not have prior written approval to defer their clerkship and extend their study period, will be required to take a leave of absence for the academic year and complete the USMLE Step 1 exam before returning to begin clerkships.
    3. Students planning to take a year off for research, an advanced degree or other activity, must complete the USMLE Step 1 exam prior to beginning their year off.
  4. Entering Clerkships
    After completing the first attempt on Step 1, students are allowed to begin their first clerkship while awaiting their score. 
  5. Timing of Second Attempt and Return to Clerkships
    Students who are unsuccessful on their first attempt may complete their first clerkship. They will then be removed from the second clerkship in order to prepare for and retake USMLE Step 1. After completing their second attempt, students with an initial Step 1 score less than 10 points from the passing score may be allowed to return to clerkships before posting a passing score. Students with an initial Step 1 score greater than 10 points from passing will be required to post a passing score prior to returning to clerkships.
  6. Timing of Third Attempt and Return to Clerkships
    Students who do not pass Step 1 on the second attempt will be immediately removed from a clerkship rotation in order to prepare for and retake Step 1. Students must post a passing score before they will be allowed to return to clerkships.

    PROCEDURE

    1. Requesting a Deferral to Extend Study period for First Attempt
      Please see USMLE Step 1 Deferral Policy.
    2. Second Attempt
      Students who do not pass USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt will be placed on Academic Warning. Students may remain in and complete their first clerkship. If a student does not wish to remain in the first clerkship, they must notify the Dean of Students and the Curriculum Manager of this decision within in one week of receiving their Step 1 score.
      All students who do not pass Step 1 on the first attempt must meet with the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Development and the Director of the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources to develop a plan, including a take and complete date, to prepare for the second attempt. The plan must then be submitted to and approved by the Committee on Student Promotions.
    3. Third Attempt
      Students who do not pass Step 1 on the second attempt will be immediately withdrawn from clerkships and will be placed on Academic Promotion.
      All students who do not pass Step 1 on the second attempt must meet with the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Development and the Director of the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources to develop a plan, including a take and complete date, for retaking the exam.  The plan must then be submitted to and approved by the Committee on Student Promotions.

    RESPONSIBILITY
    Associate Dean of Students
    Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources
    Curriculum Managers
    Committee on Student Promotions

    REFERENCES
    UC Davis School of Medicine Bylaws and Regulations, Regulation 60 (A) (2)

    RELATED POLICIES
    Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
    Extending the MD Program Policy
    Step 1 Deferral Policy

    POLICY OWNER
    Committee on Student Promotions

    REVIEWED BY
    Committee on Student Promotions*
    Associate Dean of Students

    REVIEWED DATE and REVIEW CYCLE
    June 2021; annual review cycle