Medical Student Handbook: Academic Standards and Objectives
Policies regarding promotion in the Years 1 and 2 blocks are defined in the policy: Years 1 and 2 Promotion Criteria. Students whose performance in all Year 1 and Year 2 blocks has been consistently satisfactory and who have passed Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) will be eligible for progression into the third year. Such progression may be influenced by a history of marginal performance or evaluator concerns.
Promotion into the clinical years is a significant event for both medical students and faculty, and marks the successful completion of several important academic milestones. However, students with performance difficulties in the first two years of the curriculum will be monitored closely upon entry into the clinical curriculum. Marginal performance or notations of evaluator concern in the first two years will result in an early review by both the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs and the SPCC.
Passage of the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS are required for graduation as described in the following policy: USMLE
USMLE Step 1
Students are required to take the USMLE Step 1 prior to progression on to the third year. The date by which students must take the USMLE Step 1 will be determined annually by OME and be based on the date the third year begins.
- In the case of a student in a dual-degree program, he/she must take the Step 1 exam before starting any additional work toward the non-MD degree.
- In the case of a student taking a leave of absence following the second year, that has been approved by the School of Medicine, he/she must take Step 1 exam by June 30 following the end of Year 2 or at another time determined by the Student Promotion and Conduct (SPCC) Committee.
- A student may delay taking USMLE Step 1 only if the Student Promotion and Conduct Committee has approved the delay. Conditions for which the SPCC may approve a delay in the scheduling of Step 1 exam include, but are not limited to extraordinary life events and required remediation of year two course material. While the SPCC may require the exam be taken sooner, it must be taken within eight weeks of completion of remediation).
USMLE Step 1 Exam – Failed First Attempt
- If a student learns of the Step 1 failure on his/her first attempt while in a clerkship, the student may complete the clerkship in which he/she is currently enrolled but must withdraw from subsequent clerkships until the exam has been retaken.
- The student may request approval from the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs to enroll in a subsequent clerkship until a passing score has been posted and received by the School of Medicine.
USMLE Step 1 Exam – Failed Second Attempt
- If a student fails on the second attempt of the Step 1 Exam, the student may not complete the clerkship in which he/she is currently enrolled and must withdraw from subsequent clerkships and may not re-enroll in them until a passing score has been achieved.
- The student may not enroll in any course leading to a dual-degree program until a passing USMLE exam score is received without approval from the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs.
- The student will be required to engage in remediation to improve his/her performance on USMLE Step 1 through consultation with the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. The student may enroll in a Step 1 preparation course associated with the School of Medicine or with an external organization. The student may enroll in an independent study course, supervised by the Learning Resource Center in the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. As part of independent study, the student will be required to meet weekly and have his/her study supervised by the Learning Resource Center.
- A student must obtain approval from the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs before scheduling a third attempt at the USMLE Step 1 exam. The Associate Dean will report on student status to the SPCC. Students are limited to three attempts to pass Step 1. If a student fails on the third attempt he/she will be dismissed from the School of Medicine.
Every student must pass the USMLE Step 1 exam within one calendar year (12 months) after the date of his/her first attempt. A student who has not received a passing score within 12 months after his/her first attempt may be considered for action by the SPCC, up to and including dismissal. A student may request an extension beyond the 12 months if he/she can document extraordinary circumstances. The request must be approved by the SPCC. The six-year medical school completion requirement will apply to any extension requests.
USMLE Step 2 CK and CS
The USMLE Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS must be taken before December 15 of the student's fourth year of medical school. Students are strongly encouraged to take USMLE Step 2 CK only after the completion of the Clinical Reasoning in Medicine (CRIM) course in their third year of medical school. As is the case for Step 1, students must pass Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS within three total attempts for each exam. Failure of either Step 2 CK or CS on the third attempt will result in dismissal from the School of Medicine.
Additional Criteria for Promotion
- Students who withdraw from a course or clerkship at any time without SPCC approval will fail that course or clerkship, and receive a grade of "F" on their transcript.
- Upon entering the fall semester, first year students that are deemed by the SPCC within the first six weeks of the semester to have academic extenuating circumstances (such as a marginal science background or prior extended absence from academia) can be placed on an extended program (i.e. from two years to three years).
Request for Accommodation
Students who are granted accommodation through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) on the UNR campus are required to request accommodation for courses, exams or other evaluations at least two weeks prior to the course, exam, or evaluation. Requests must be submitted directly to the appropriate block or clerkship director.
Appropriate accommodations to help the candidate successfully meet the requirements for graduation from the School of Medicine must be planned and discussed with the appropriate committees prior to matriculation. Disabilities occurring after matriculation will be addressed on an individual basis by the SPCC in accordance with the Essential Functions Requirements (Fit for Duty Policy) to best meet the needs of the student and the school. Students must understand and accept their roles as health care providers within their communities.
The School of Medicine retains the right to review and approve or decline any or all requests for accommodation. If a student has a disability that necessitates accommodation to meet the School of Medicine's Essential Functions Requirements (Fit for Duty), then the student must provide, at their own expense, appropriate documentation from a qualified professional describing the disability and setting forth any reasonable accommodations necessary to ensure the student's ability to meet the Essential Functions Requirements (Fit for Duty).