Q: What do I do if I miss an exam?

A: Contact your OSA advisor immediately. If your absence was due to illness, see a healthcare provider to get documentation. Provide documentation from your healthcare provider to OSA within seven days of the missed exam. If your absence is approved, OSA will notify you and the testing department. You will then work with testing to reschedule the exam. If you have an unapproved absence from an exam, you will receive a failing score of 0 and you will be ineligible to reschedule the exam. Please refer to the “Policy Sitting for Examinations” located here.


Q: What is a leave of absence and how do I request one?

A: A leave of absence (LOA) allows a student to take time off from medical school for many different reasons, such as taking care of personal matters or issues, for medical reasons, to pursue formal research or educational opportunities, and even to reconsider the decision to pursue medicine as a career. A LOA can vary in length, but in most cases is less than a year. If you believe a LOA would be in your best interest, speak with your OSA advisor and familiarize yourself with the LOA policy located here in Section X “Policies and Procedures for Leave of Absence” (pages 15 & 16). A leave of absence often involves significant changes to registration, financial aid, health insurance coverage and other important issues, so it is imperative that a student consult with OSA, the Registrar, and Financial Aid when requesting a LOA.


Q: What happens if I fail the USMLE Step 1 exam?

A: When a student fails the USMLE Step 1 exam the first time, the student will be required to meet with their OSA advisor. Failing an exam, and especially the Step 1 exam, is often a traumatic period in a student’s career and it is important that the student develop a support network consisting of their OSA advisor, faculty advisor, academic skills specialist, counseling, and others to help the student during the remediation process. Specific policy regarding failure of the USMLE Step 1 exam can be found here in the Student Academic Promotions Policy Section V.1. (page 8)