Adds USMLE study support and defines faculty ranks

Students who have finished their pre-clinical modules and are preparing for the In-House Exam (IHE) and USMLE will now have a small committee of faculty to advise them on the best study strategies, thanks to a new policy approved by the Academic Board in September.

“Based on existing policy, students do not have access to their Academic Advisors upon completion of the pre-clinical modules,” says Scott Cunningham, MD, PhD, Director of Curriculum, and sponsor of the resolution. “The USMLE Study Hall Committee gives students the additional support they need to prepare for these critical exams.”

This is the latest step in OUM’s efforts to ensure student success on the USMLE, a critical exam for anyone planning to practice in the United States.

“Our data confirm that the IHE is a reliable predictor not only of passing USMLE Step 1, but of the approximate score,” says Dr. Cunningham. “The results of the IHE and Step 1 correlate perfectly: All students passing the IHE have passed USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt.”

Students must score an 80 percent or higher on the In-House Exam to be approved to take USMLE Step 1.  Chaired by North American Dean, Dr. Sarmad Ghazi, the USMLE Study Hall Committee will meet with each Study Hall student on a monthly basis and will include:

  • Overview of the student’s specific activities during the month (method of preparation and amount of study time);
  • Student’s report of progress toward USMLE preparation with objective data, if available;
  • Student’s opinion of what, if anything, OUM can do to provide additional support;
  • Review of the study strategy, with recommended changes if indicated;
  • Specific recommendations from the Study Hall Committee.

The Study Hall Committee will advise and guide the Student Affairs Committee’s decisions on all matters related to USMLE. Students who do not participate in meetings with the Study Hall Committee may face adverse decisions from the Student Affairs Committee regarding USMLE preparation extensions or even face transfer to the non-USMLE track.

“In the coming months, the Committee will begin meeting with students who are preparing for USMLE,” says Dr. Ghazi. “This is an incredibly important and difficult exam, and we look forward to helping the students get through the process.”

OUM has developed a number of resources to help students prepare for the In-House Exam and USMLE Step 1:  Structured Study Protocol (Concurrent, Accelerated, and Study Hall versions) and the hyper-accelerated Basic Science Immersion.

Faculty rankings revised

In an effort to bring OUM faculty rankings in line with those used in the British Commonwealth, the Academic Board passed a resolution that increases the requirements for Associate Professor and full Professor and replaces the ranking of Assistant Professor with three levels of Lecturer.

Previously, OUM faculty rankings were based on the American system. Some features of the new rankings include:

  • All current OUM faculty will retain their present rank, unless they qualify for a higher rank.
  • New faculty joining OUM will retain the highest rank they achieved at their previous university.
  • The rank of Assistant Professor is eliminated for new faculty, unless they held that rank at a previous employer.
  • Variations in the rank of Lecturer have been added.
  • Application for a change in rank will be made to the Faculty Promotions Committee.
  • After approval by the Faculty Promotions Committee, recommendations for the rank of Associate Professor and Professor will be ratified by the OUM Council.
  • Clinical faculty supervising medical students in their clinical clerkships will have Adjunct added to their title.

Faculty should know that the ranks are for academic classification only and do not have any effect on their contractual relationship with OUM.

Details of the six new rankings are included below.