UCSF USMLE Step Exam Guide for Requesting Accommodations
The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) USMLE examinations (Step 1, 2 CK/CS, and Step 3) will be a key part of your medical school experience. As a student with a disability seeking accommodations, you will need to prepare in advance and understand the NBME requirements.
Requests for accommodations on these exams are made directly to the NBME. The NBME sets their own requirements for requesting accommodations, including specifications for disability documentation, personal statements, and other required information for your application. The request process is outlined on the NBME’s website.
The NBME suggests that students submit their request early and anticipate a response no earlier than 60 business days after submission. In our experience, the timeline for responses is closer to 90 plus days, especially during peak testing times. In addition to the 90 plus days wait-time, the process of preparing an application can take 3-6 months. Therefore we recommend you factor in time to develop a personal statement, collect documentation, and allow an additional 90 plus days to file appeals, should your initial request be rejected.
For more information about the window of time for schedules, please review the schedules located on the USMLE website. Note that students can extend their window for a small fee.
Communication Guide for Students With Disabilities
For all students, the transition to graduate or professional school requires the use of many skills to adapt to the new environment. One’s professionalism, especially regarding communication skills, is key to making an effective transition. It is essential that students with disabilities effectively communicate with faculty, colleagues, and other administration and staff in order to ensure access to approved disability accommodations.
This guide was developed to assist graduate and professional students in the health sciences to effectively communicate information about their disabilities and their classroom and clinical placement accommodations with faculty and administrators. The goal is to outline several key issues for students with disabilities, including: (1) the appropriate amount of information to share, (2) tips for professional communication, and (3) the students’ roles and responsibilities in this process.