Most students complete their clinical training and graduate in two or two and one-half calendar years after completing the basic sciences program. These students usually take Step 2 CK once all Year 3 requirements are completed. However, students have the option to choose a three-year clinical studies schedule (a fifth year in the Four-Year MD program).
These students can take Step 2 CK after four years of medical school, allowing them more time to prepare for Step 2 CK. During this period, students also have the option to participate in individually tailored program of electives and/or conduct research.
The Office of Career Guidance (OCG) may advise students to consider a fifth year if they meet one or more of the criteria below which are predictors of poor performance on Step 2 CK and CK.
- Academic difficulties in the basic science terms
- Failing or performing poorly on Step 1
- Negative comments or a C/Pass in the Clinical Skills component of the clerkships
- Deficient performance on the NBME Clinical Subject Exams, including any failure
Students who meet these criteria have not achieved a satisfactory level of competencies in medical knowledge and test-taking skills and should consider delaying Step 2 CK until completing additional training and study in the fourth year. The School can assist in developing individualized programs of additional fourth year educational activities. These students can then enter the next residency pool with a stronger academic profile by utilizing the fourth year as preparation for Step 2. These students can still graduate at the end of their fourth year. Alternatively, they can postpone graduation and remain in medical school for a fifth year. In this fifth-year students can enter a dual degree program, such as the Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in Biomedical Research (MScBR). The school can also arrange up to eight weeks of additional electives at affiliated hospitals with additional electives at nonaffiliated hospitals, an advanced sub-internship, other research opportunities or teaching assistantships. These fifth-year options are provided at no tuition cost. Each student's academic advisor can help the student decide which clinical schedule is best based each student's career goals.