The NBME Clinical Subject Examination is a required assessment of clinical knowledge in the core clerkships and for the Family Medicine/General Practice required rotation. Passing all 6 required NBMEs is a graduation requirement. Students are expected to take the NBME within the final 2 weeks of the rotation for which it is required as per the schedule described in the assessment section of the CTM. The NBME scheduling office provides students with a permit window during which the exam must be taken.
In rare instances, unforeseen circumstances may prevent a student taking an examination as scheduled. If a student is unable to take an NBME exam and can re-schedule the exam with the testing center within the permit window, a clinical/medical excuse does not need to be submitted. If re-scheduling within the permit window is not possible, a clinical/medical excuse must be submitted using the Clinical/Medical Excuse Form and a completion exam will be granted.
Students are entitled to one self-reported Clinical/Medical Excuse for examinations per 12-month period during the MD program, after which they will be prevented from submitting additional clinical/medical excuses.
Students should use their Clinical/Medical Excuse wisely as no additional excused absences for examinations will be allowed in a 12-month period. If a student does not take an examination as scheduled and has already used his/her Clinical/Medical Excuse in the prior 12-month period, then the student will be deemed to have failed to complete all required clerkship activities and will receive a failing grade for the knowledge component of the clerkship/required rotation and for the rotation.
Students with extenuating circumstances for missing an additional examination will require relevant documentation. Students in this situation should seek guidance from the Dean of Students Office (email@example.com) prior to missing the examination. In circumstances where this is not possible, students must contact the DOS office as soon as possible and provide documentation for their incapacitation.
Note: Students may not request a Medical Excuse once they have started an exam. Once a student has started an exam, a score will be submitted and contribute to the student’s grade, irrespective of how much of the exam is completed. Therefore, students are strongly discouraged from taking an exam if they are unwell.
To submit a medical excuse, the student uses the SOM Medical/Clinical Excuse Form. This self-report form must be submitted before the scheduled examination time. If a student makes a second Medical Excuse request within 12 months, then the student receives a written notice about his/her ineligibility for a second Medical Excuse and is apprised of the consequences of missing the examination(s).
PROCESS FOR RESOLUTION OF MISSED EXAMINATIONS
Any student with an approved absence who misses an examination will receive an “ME” for the exam score. The student receives an “I” for the clinical knowledge component of the clerkship/required FM/GP rotation grade, is issued an incomplete grade (I) for the course, and is expected to take the Completion Examination. Students take the Completion Exam at the end of Year 3 once all Year 3 rotations (including any Year 3 FM/GP required rotation) are completed and by the end of Year 4 if the FM/GP required rotation was completed during Year 4*. Students should consider this completion examination period when scheduling elective rotations.
Students who miss an examination without an approved absence have not completed course requirements and will be issued an NG score for the NBME examination and a failing grade for the rotation. Students should consult the Assessment and Grading section of Clinical Training Manual for repercussions associated with failure to complete course requirements.
As of January 2023
Year 3 Completion Exams (including Year 3 FM/GP required rotations)
Any student with an approved excused absence from an NBME exam should follow the instructions provided by firstname.lastname@example.org and NBME@sgu.edu following the approval of the excused absence. Once an excuse has been submitted and a Year 3 completion exam approved, a Completion Examination Period of 3 weeks (21 days) will be blocked off in the schedule at the end of year 3 to facilitate exam preparation, scheduling, and processing. This may require the cancellation/postponement of electives scheduled prior to the date the exam was missed. Students should work closely with the clerkship coordinator when scheduling subsequent electives.
An NBME exam permit will be issued by NBME@sgu.edu for the last 2 weeks of the Completion Examination Period during which students must schedule to take their completion examination. Students should schedule their examinations within 48 hours of receiving their permit as testing dates book up quickly. Once this 2-week permit window ends, the school receives the examination score within 5-7 days and makes a determination regarding academic progress or required remediation.
Year 4 Completion Exams
Any student with an approved excused absence from a Year 4 NBME examination should follow the instructions provided by email@example.com and NBME@sgu.edu following the approval of the excused absence. Students should request permits from NBMEretakes@sgu.edu at least 4 weeks prior to the expected examination date. Permit windows are for a 2-week period. Once this 2-week permit window ends, the school receives the examination score within 5-7 days and makes a determination regarding academic progress or required remediation.
Students must pass all NBME examinations to meet graduation requirements.
It is anticipated that students will schedule bridge weeks for Year 4 Completion Exam preparation prior to taking the exam. Bridge time will be used for study time and for the examination period. (LOA time will be used if no bridge time is available). This may require the cancellation/postponement of electives scheduled prior to the date the exam was missed. Students should work closely with the NBME exam scheduling team and their Clinical Student Coordinator when scheduling exam time and subsequent electives.
*Students intending to match should ensure they have taken and passed their missed/failed Year 4 FM/GP NBME examination by March 1 of the match year to ensure all graduation requirements have been successfully fulfilled by June of that year. Students are strongly encouraged to take the completion as soon as possible to avoid having pending graduation requirements at the end of the fourth year, which may prevent them from meeting residency match requirements.