End of Phase 1 Shelf Exams: These exams are offered every year at the end of Phase 1 to ensure students have learned necessary content, using standardized NBME “board-style” questions to further prepare students for eventually taking USMLE Step 1. Several alterations were made this year and include additional study time in the curriculum, a review for the gross anatomy shelf, additional preparation of the exams to ensure they match content for this year’s courses, and a blueprint/outline of each shelf exam that will be distributed around Feb 15th to assist in study efforts.
CBSE: The Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) is a general, integrated achievement test covering material typically learned during basic science education, with somewhat more emphasis on second-year courses. This exam reflects content coverage on USMLE Step 1 and uses the same item formats. This exam is given to T2’s well in advance of the Step 1 exam so students can use their overall score and profile report to identify areas of strength and weakness and focus their study efforts.
Step 1: We are well aware that T2’s are beginning to gear up for their Step 1 exam but this year, we also have a number of T3’s who were not able to take their exam last Spring. Dr. Naquin is doing Step prep; individual consultations are also available.
Clinical Curriculum: Beginning with the clinical orientation the first week of May, clerkships that were reduced in time will return to their pre-covid lengths of either 4 or 8 weeks.
Transition to Residency Elective Course: We now offer an elective for 4th year students in March to provide enhanced preparation for residency. This course is in addition to specialty specific electives that are already offered. This year the course will be both on-line and in-person; activities will provide exposure to general topics important for all future interns.
“Hybrid” Classes: As soon as the technology enhancements are completed in the Leone and DeBakey facilities, we will begin hybrid classes, whereby a limited number of students can come in for in-person presentations.
Away Rotations: At this time, we are still not approving any “away” rotations for current or rising 4th year students. However on January 25, the Coalition for Physician Accountability which includes the AAMC and a cross-organizational group of national medical education organizations recommended the following:
- After April 15, learners may begin applying for and scheduling in-person away rotations with a start date of August 1, 2021, or later.
- Programs hosting learners for away rotations are encouraged to adhere to May 1 as the date to begin processing away rotation applications that begin on or after August 1.
- Given the compressed timeline paired with an inadequate quantity of electives available for completion, medical schools are encouraged to limit approved away rotations in any specialty to one per learner, except in cases where additional rotations are needed to complete graduation or accreditation requirements. Residency programs are encouraged to take into consideration if a learner exceeded the one away rotation limit during the residency selection process.
- Programs may continue to offer virtual electives to provide opportunities for learners to explore the specialty and program.