All students are required to take the USMLE Step 1 Exam after the second year and prior to the start of the third-year clerkships. A passing grade on the Step 1 Exam is required to begin the third year. However, students that have taken Step 1 but not received their scores by the beginning of the first clerkship will be allowed to begin their first clerkship. Students who have started their clerkship without a grade who then receive a failing grade on the Step 1 Exam are to complete the first clerkship (in progress) and then take a leave of absence from the school for a 6-week clerkship period to study for and retake the Step 1 Exam. The student will then resume the third year while awaiting the new score. If the second attempt results in a failing score, he or she will be placed on a leave of absence for up to one year.
Personalized assistance and counseling will be available to those affected and these students will work closely with OME to optimize their chances for success. Students must then re-take Step 1 for entry into the next third-year class. Students who fail the Step 1 Exam a third time will be recommended for academic dismissal.
All students are required to record a passing score on the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS) Exams as a requirement for graduation. To meet the graduation requirement, all seniors are required to schedule and sit for both exams by Dec. 31 of the year prior to graduation. Therefore it is strongly recommended that students apply for and schedule the Step 2 Exams no later than June of the year prior to graduation. This scheduling should allow adequate time for processing the application and for results to be reported in advance of graduation. This will allow time to repeat the exam(s) if needed. Students who fail Step 2 (CK or CS) three times will be recommended for dismissal. No student will be allowed to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree without a passing score on the Step 2 Examinations.
If a student chooses to take the Step 2 Exam(s) after Jan. 1 of the fourth/graduation year, and fails the exam(s), he/she may be placing their future postgraduate medical education in jeopardy. NBME restrictions on processing time, time required for rescheduling the exam, and delays in the reporting of scores may not allow the student to complete graduation requirements prior to graduation and if this occurs, the student will not be allowed to graduate with their class or participate in the graduation procession and ceremony. It is also highly likely that a student with a delayed graduation will not be allowed to start his or her scheduled residency.
Information and advisement about preparation for the USMLE exams will be provided to students by the Offices of Medical Education and Curriculum. If eligible, Dr. Frank Schimpfhauser from the Office of Curriculum will complete the Certification of Identification Form on your behalf.
Office of Medical Education
Jacobs School of Medicine, Room 1201, 955 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 829-2802; Fax: (716) 829-2798