CSP USMLE Step 1 Policy

The decision to defer the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 deadline of April 25, 2021 should be made with careful thought and consultation with School of Medicine support, including the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources (OSLER), Wellness, and Student Development.

A deferral of one 6-week rotation may delay graduation and may impact your ability to match. The implications of a deferral may be greater if students are in a PRIME/TEACH program (such as ACE-PC, REACH, Rural PRIME and TEACH-MS), including potentially leaving the program. Students in these programs should review potential implications with their respective program leadership.

Performance on the CBSE exams offered by the School of Medicine is an important predictor for Step 1 performance, and students are required to take the CBSE exam both times it is offered. The CBSE is offered in November 2020 and February 2021.

Deferrals for academic reasons will include review of academic performance and CBSE results.

Students will complete a USMLE Step 1 Deferral Form (PDF) detailing the rationale for the request and will obtain signatures from the relevant faculty and staff in the Office of Medical Education.

The number of slots available for Step 1 deferrals will be determined each year by the Associate Deans for Curriculum and Students in consultation with the clinical curriculum manager. After students apply to defer, their applications will be reviewed by an OME committee which includes the Associate Dean for Curriculum, the Associate Dean for Students, the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources, the Director of Student Development and the Vice Dean for Education; this committee will review available academic performance data in making their recommendation. Recommendations from the OME Committee will be submitted to the Committee on Student Promotions which will have final approval for all deferrals.

Students will be notified within two weeks of submission if their application was approved.

Rotation One Deferral (6-weeks)

  • Request Deadline: February 12, 2021
  • Rotation One deferral requests will NOT be considered after February 12, 2021
  • Deadline to take and complete Step 1 exam: Last Friday of rotation 1 clerkship
  • Curricular Impact:
    • Participate in the OSLER Step 1 Review (an in-person review held on the Sacramento Campus of UCDSOM March 1-April 23, 2021) and enroll in Directed Study units.
    • Complete Transition to Clerkship (T2C) course and participate in any sessions related to clinical skills
    • Begin Doctoring 3 during Deferral Period
    • Deferred clerkship to be placed in 4th year schedule at the discretion of the School of Medicine manager of clinical curriculum, subject to clerkship availability following the 2022 lottery
    • A new clerkship schedule will be generated by the clinical curriculum manager

Third Year Deferral

  • Request Deadline: 7 Days prior to T2C course (April 16, 2021)
  • Deadline to take and complete Step 1 exam: December 31, 2021
  • Curricular Impact:
    • Planned Educational Leave (PELP) for 3 quarters
    • Withdraw from all coursework; enroll in Directed Study Units under the supervision of the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources during Spring Quarter; complete clinical refresher course prior to re-entry
  • Student Resource Impact:
    • Financial Aid is unavailable during Planned Educational Leave (PELP)
    • Health Insurance is available at a cost
    • Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources (OSLER), Student Development and Wellness resources remain available to students
    • Students’ clinical skills may undergo attrition, and transition back into the clinical curriculum can be challenging

Students who fail to take and complete USMLE Step 1 exam by April 25, 2021 (or by the last Friday of clerkship rotation 1, if granted a deferral), will be in a full year deferral.

Students must have passed USMLE Step 1 exam within one year of completing the preclinical curriculum. If a student does not meet this requirement, they may be subject to dismissal from the medical school.