Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) provides students with the curriculum required to help them master their medical license exams, one of the most important parts of medical training.
RUSM students can rely on a full range of academic and personal support throughout the academic journey—from the preclinical aspects of the program to application for licensure. Designed to encourage active learning, critical thinking, and leadership, a degree from RUSM supplies students with the tools needed to successfully meet and exceed standards for graduation, residency attainment, licensure, and entry into their medical careers.
United States Medical License Exams
The United States Medical License Examination® (USMLE®) Steps 1 and 2 are taken after the medical sciences curriculum and during the clinical sciences curriculum respectively. The third and final exam occurs after graduation, typically during medical residency. After passing all three exams and completion of their medical residencies, doctors may apply for licensure.
USMLE Curriculum Timeline
USMLE STEP 1
A medical school might measure its success by the number of students who pass their first USMLE exam, and RUSM students do well. In 2020, about 91 percent of RUSM students passed Step 1 of the USMLE on the first attempt.
Students must pass USMLE Step 1 to begin their clinical training. The exam tests the general principles of the basic medical sciences. Students don’t need to know it all, but they do need a solid foundation of medical knowledge and skills.
Aside from classroom learning, the RUSM Academy of Teaching and Learning (ATL) helps students prepare for the USMLE Step 1. The ATL does this by working with students to develop a comprehensive plan to meet their preparation goals and provides 1:1 small group and large group support to help with test taking strategies, reasoning skills, and content specific review. This support begins in the medical sciences years and continues through the clinical sciences. In addition, students have access to concept clarification and study strategy sessions, test-taking resources, and lifelong learning skills, as well as five National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) practice exams: two Comprehensive Clinical Science Self-Assessment (CCSSA) tests, and up to three Comprehensive Basic Science Subject Exams (CBSE).
The ATL also provides a rapid synthesis program, four USMLE multiple choice question (MCQ) review sessions per week, and mind/ body medicine programs. Additionally, RUSM students have access to online preparation tools such as UWorld and USMLE-Rx™. USMLE Step 1 assesses how well students apply medical knowledge and skills to real-life, patient-centered scenarios.
Many students take the USMLE Step 1 in April around the end of their second year of medical school, but Step 1 can be taken year-round. Students are expected to sit for Step 1 within 15 weeks after completion of basic medical sciences.
USMLE STEP 2
Students may take the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) during clinical sciences. Step 2 CK focuses on the clinical application of your expanding medical knowledge. The test assesses a student’s ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science to the provision of patient care. The USMLE Step 2 CK also probes students’ knowledge of disease prevention and health promotion, and ensures students are learning the principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered healthcare skills. The RUSM Step 2 CK pass rate in 2020 was 94 percent.
Clinical training requires a steep learning curve, and with it comes vast amounts of new and important information. This requires students to remember and repeat a wide range of new skills and procedures—all of which will help them on the nine-hour-long multiple choice USMLE Step 2 CK. Students must demonstrate their knowledge and ability across such disciplines as internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, preventive medicine, psychiatry, and surgery.
Recognizing this need, RUSM takes a proactive approach to help students prepare for Step 2 CK with tutoring and study sessions as well as practice and sample cases and tests and web-based tutorials. Examples of available resources are the NBME CCSSA and CBSE as well as MCQ reviews. Further information and explanations can be found in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.
USMLE STEP 3
In the fourth and final year of medical school, students begin applying to medical residencies. Students then graduate with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, complete a medical residency—a minimum of three years—and pass the USMLE Step 3 prior to applying for licensure.
Most doctors-in-training take Step 3—a combination of multiple-choice questions and simulated clinical cases—during or after post-graduate year one (PGY-1). Preparing for Step 3—which is now more in the hands of individual doctors and their residency programs—includes absorbing volumes of notes, listening to audio study guides, watching video study aids, using flash cards and quick tables, answering thousands of sample questions, and taking sample tests—over and again. For RUSM students, passing the USMLE Step 3 is the reward for many years of hard work and the realization of achieving a lifelong dream.
Are you trying to decide how to choose a medical school? Learn more about why the MD Program at RUSM may be the right choice for you.
The Ross University School of Medicine curriculum is designed to enable students to acquire and master basic sciences concepts and prepare to integrate knowledge of these concepts into clinical care.
The Ross Advantage: Personalized support throughout your medical education. We support your success every step of the way.
The majority of our graduates secure residencies through the National Resident Matching Program.