Episode 11 | Should Step 1 Be Pass/Fail?

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Every medical student knows of that one hurdle that can make or break their aspirations of getting into the specialty or program of their choice. It’s the bane of existence for every medical student in their first two years of medical school. That hurdle is the USMLE Step 1.

The United States Medical Licensure Exam – Step 1, is a standardized exam that is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). It was created to assess the ability of medical students to apply basic science fundamental concepts to the practice of medicine. The entire exam is divided into three steps, but in this episode we will be primarily be focusing on Step 1, which is typically taken after the second year of medical school.

On this episode of Medicus, Dr. Josh Hopps joins Nate and Neal to talk about the history and philosophy behind the exam, the controversies surrounding it, its place in medical education, and the changes that it might be undergoing in the years to come.

Dr. Josh Hopps has spent his life’s work helping people to identify barriers to optimal functioning and finding solutions that will allow equal access, opportunity, and realization of potential.  This work has emerged from several different vectors with a single convergence: fostering the success of exceptional students. He is trained as an educator and a psychologist and both aspects of my professional identity are important to working with medical students and planning the strategic vision of the Academic Center for Excellence.  Before coming to the Stritch School of Medicine, he worked in special education at the secondary level applying the principles of universal design for instruction, making accommodations and modifications to tailor instruction to the needs of students, and creating and implementing individualized educational programs. His training in psychology included work as an individual counselor and conducting neuropsychological evaluations, and he brings expertise in the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components of academic success and personal well-being. Dr. Hopps has been the assistant Dean of Academic Support at Loyola for the last six years and he’s recently accepted a new position at Northwestern.

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