Step 1 Going Pass-Fail: Are We Just Kicking the Can Down the Road?

Presented by Brenda Roman, MD and Bruce Z. Morgenstern, MD on January 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm

In recent years there has been growing concern about the potential negative impact of USMLE Step 1 scores being used as determinants as to who is invited to interview for residency positions, a step taken as the number of applications for each residency program became unmanageable. Concerns included the medical students focusing more on Step 1 study versus the curriculum of the medical school, and the general learning environment of Step 1 “frenzy” amongst the students. The announcement by the National Board of Medical Examiners in February 2020 that USMLE Step 1 is going to a pass/fail scoring system in 2021 was both applauded and condemned by medical educators and students. The president and immediate past-president of the Alliance of Clinical Education, the organization of medical school clerkship director organizations from Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery and Emergency Medicine will discuss the impact of USMLE Step 1 not having a numerical score, including the concern that with USMLE Step 2 CK remaining scored, are we just shifting the concerns to a different time in the life of a medical student.

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Presenter Bios

Brenda RomanBrenda Roman, MD is Associate Dean of Medical Education and Professor in Psychiatry at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, OH. Previously she was the Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry for 18 years. Dr. Roman received her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1988, and completed her residency in psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati Hospital system in 1992, then joined the faculty at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Her clinical work has focused on the college population and the homeless population. Her scholarly work focuses on medical education, curriculum development, and women’s mental health issues.

Dr. Roman has extensive experience with the medical school curriculum, being on the forefront of introducing Team-Based Learning into the psychiatry curriculum, and working to introduce Peer Instruction and a unique brand of problem-based learning (WrightQ) to the overall curriculum. When she was Assistant Dean for Curriculum, she led the transformation to a lecture free curriculum that debuted in 2017.

In addition to numerous school and university committees, Dr. Roman served on the Executive Council of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Educators for 10 years, including President. She served as chair of the USMLE Step 2 Psychiatry Test Material Development Committee, and continues to serve on Interdisciplinary Review Committees. In 2013, she completed the prestigious Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program for women. Recent awards at the Boonshoft School of Medicine include the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2014, and the Faculty Mentor Award and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. She is currently faculty and mentor for the Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) Certificate Program of the American Association of Medical Colleges, and is chair elect of the Undergraduate Medical Education Section of the GEA. Most recently she received the Laureate Award in the CGEA for her contributions as a mentor in medical education and to the CGEA. She has over 50 publications, most in the area of medical education.

Bruce Morgenstern is Vice Dean for Academic & Clinical Affairs at the Roseman University College of Medicine. He received his MD degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in General Pediatrics at the Long Island Jewish – Hillside Medical Center and in Pediatric Nephrology at the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. After serving in the US Air Force at Keesler Medical Center, he practiced for 15 years at the Mayo Clinic and for another decade at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Bruce has also been involved in medical student education for more than 25 years. He has served as president of COMSEP and is the immediate past president of the Alliance for Clinical Education, the organization of medical school clerkship director organizations from Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery and Emergency Medicine. He was the editor-in-chief of the 4th and 5th editions of the Guidebook for Clerkship Directors.