Clerkship Exams

Policy Manual

  • Former Title: Failure, Clerkship Exams
  • Policy Number: OME 13-003
  • Effective Date: 07/01/2013
  • Last Revised: 06/01/2014
  • Department: Office of Medical Education
  • Originator: Medical Education Steering Committee
  • Download: Download Policy OME 13-003
  1. Purpose and Background
    The University of Nevada School of Medicine uses standardized, objective, discipline based exams for assessment throughout the medical school's clerkships. The exams are designed to provide effective evaluation tools and useful examinee performance data. This policy established guidelines for the Clerkship Exams including policies and procedures in the event that a student fails a final clerkship exam.
  2. Revision History
    1. 5/2007: 1.0: New Document
    2. 4/2013: 2.0: Expanded and Renamed Timothy Baker
    3. 6/2014: 3.0: Retake timelines Timothy Baker / Yr 3-4 Curr. Com.
  3. Stakeholder(s)
    1. Medical Students
    2. Faculty
    3. Staff
  4. Policy
    1. All medical students must take and pass a Clerkship Exam at the end of each required clerkship
    2. Any student who fails the Clerkship Exam on the first attempt will receive a grade of "Incomplete" until the examination is repeated and passed.
      1. The repeat examination must be taken within 12 weeks of receipt of the failing score from the first attempt.
      2. The student and Clerkship Director will work together and with the director(s) of any other affected clerkship and the Office of Medical Education to determine an appropriate date for the retake. The final decision regarding the date of the retake rests with the Clerkship Director and is subject to staff availability. The appropriate clerkship administrators will coordinate scheduling of exam retakes in consultation with the Clerkship Directors.
      3. Once the date of a Clerkship Exam retake has been finalized, any requests by the student to reschedule the exam must be made, in writing, to that Clerkship Director and the Associate Dean for Medical Education no fewer than 14 calendar days prior to the scheduled retake. Approval of the request is at the discretion of the Clerkship Director.
      4. It is strongly recommended that the student form a plan of study collaboratively with the Clerkship Director.
    3. Any student who fails the Clerkship Exam on the second attempt will receive a grade of "Fail" for the clerkship and must repeat that clerkship.
      1. The student must appear before the Student Promotion and Conduct Committee (SPCC).
      2. The student must follow a prescribed plan of study during the repeated clerkship, designed in collaboration with the Clerkship Director and tailored to the specific deficiencies identified during the student's previous performance in the clerkship.
      3. Given that clerkship lengths vary, the need for a student to repeat a clerkship may impact their graduation date.
      4. Students may not repeat more than one clerkship. Students meeting criteria for repeating a second clerkship (i.e. failing a second repeated exam) will be required to appear before the SPCC and may be subject to dismissal. The SPCC may approve continued active student status, however the student may be required to repeat the core clerkships in their entirety.
    4. Any student who fails the clerkship exam for the same clerkship on the third attempt will be dismissed from medical school.
    5. Students may fail and successfully repeat (per 4.2 above) up to two Clerkship Exams from different clerkships on the first attempt.
      1. If a student fails a third Clerkship Exam on the first attempt during the clerkship year, he/she may be subject to dismissal. The SPCC may approve continued active student status, however the student may be required to repeat the core clerkships in their entirety.
      2. Student will not be permitted to exceed the six-year maximum time allotment for the completion of the M.D. degree.
    6. Any consideration for dismissal by the SPCC related to this policy will be subject to the Student Due Process Policy.
  5. Definitions
    1. Clerkship Exam NBME subject (aka shelf) exam for a clerkship or other exam as defined in the clerkship syllabus.
    2. Clerkship Required core clinical experience within a defined specialty, typically completed during the third year of medical school.
    3. Failure of Exam Generally defined as performance below the 5th percentile, or other criteria as defined by the clerkship syllabus.
  6. Procedures and Responsibilities
    1. The Office of Medical Education notifies Clerkship Director and the Office of Admission and Student Affairs of examination failure.
    2. The Clerkship Director notifies student of examination failure.
    3. The medical student shall devise a study plan and repeat examination date with the approval of the Clerkship Director.
    4. Clerkship Director or designee notifies the Office of Medical Education of examination date a minimum of 14 working days prior to the anticipated date of the retake. The Office of Medical Education coordinates the ordering of the exam from any external sources.
    5. The Office of Medical Education and the Clerkship Director will collaborate to ensure availability of appropriate proctor for exam retakes.