PURPOSE
To outline the deadline by which medical students must complete the USMLE Step 1 exam, and the process for requesting an extension to this deadline.

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 examination in order to graduate from the School. All students are required to complete USMLE Step 1 on or before the Sunday prior to the start of the Transition to Clerkships course. 
  2. Students who are at risk of not passing the Step 1 exam may, with approval of the Committee on Student Promotions, defer their first clerkship in order to extend their study period. 
  3. All deferral requests must be submitted by the published deadline and approved prior to the start of the dedicated Step 1 study period.

PROCEDURE

The decision to defer the first clerkship rotation and extend the study period for USMLE Step 1 exam may delay a student’s graduation and impact their match application and timeline. These implications may be greater if a student is in any of the School’s pathway programs. The decision to defer the first clerkship should be made in consultation with the student’s academic coach, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources and the Director of Student and Resident Wellness.

Requesting a Deferral for USMLE Step 1 Study Period
Students requesting a deferral to extend the USMLE Step 1 study period must complete and submit the USMLE Step 1 Deferral Form. The Form must detail the rationale for the request and be signed by the relevant faculty and staff in the Office of Medical Education.

Deadline for Submitting the Deferral Form
The deadline for submitting the USMLE Step 1 Deferral Form is published annually. Requests for deferrals will not be considered if submitted after the deadline.

Review and Approval of Deferral Requests
The specific number of slots available for Step 1 deferrals will be determined each year by the Deans for Curriculum & Medical Education and Students in consultation with the Clinical Curriculum Manager.

All deferral requests will be reviewed by an Office of Medical Education Committee which includes the Vice Dean for Education, the Dean for Curriculum and Medical Education, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources, and the Director of Student Development. This Committee will review student rationale and available academic performance data before making their recommendation.

Recommendations from the OME Committee will be submitted to the Committee on Student Promotions for review and final approval.

Students will be notified within two weeks of the request deadline if their application is approved.

Rotation 1 Deferral – Deadlines, Requirements and Curricular Impact
Students who are approved to defer their first clerkship will be required to complete the USMLE Step 1 on or before the Sunday prior to the start of the 2nd clerkship. Students who do not complete Step 1 by this deadline will be required to drop all scheduled clerkships and defer an entire year.

Requirements:

  • Students will be required to participate in the OSLER Step 1 Guided Review during the first eight weeks of the study period and to enroll in Directed Study units during this time.
  • Students are required to participate in and complete the Transition to Clerkship course.

Curricular Impact:

  • When a student is approved to defer the first clerkship, the student will be dropped from their scheduled first clerkship. If necessary, a new schedule for the remaining clerkships may be generated by the Clinical Curriculum Manager.
  • The deferred clerkship will be placed in the student’s Post-Clerkship schedule subject to clerkship site availability in the following academic year.

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

REFERENCES
UC Davis School of Medicine Bylaws and Regulations, Regulation 60 (A) (2)
USMLE Step 1 Exam 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