Student Development

What Services Do We Offer?

Peer Tutoring

First year students: Peer tutoring is available from the Academic Peer Tutoring Program sponsored by the Office of Student Development. Our peer tutors have been handpicked and have knowledge or have demonstrated proficiency in the blocks. Peer tutors are current medical students that are trained to tutor effectively and support student’s skill development.

Please speak with your learning specialist regarding a referral for peer tutoring for one to one sessions or group sessions.

Drop-in tutoring hours are also offered in close proximity to block exams. Flyers will be sent to your class listserv regarding drop-in tutoring offerings. 

Second year, third year, and fourth year students: Please contact the Peer Tutoring Coordinator to inquire about possible peer tutoring services to meet your needs.

For further information on Peer Tutoring Services, please contact the Peer Tutoring Coordinator, Amy Thieman, at thiemana@medadmin.arizona.edu.

Individualized Study Plans

Any student is welcome to work with a Learning Specialist to develop an individualized study plan for studying within the blocks during year one and two of medical school. Additionally, per the COM-T grading and progression policies, any student who receives a score below 75% on any high-stakes written exam is required to work with the Office of Student Development to develop and follow an approved individualized study plan.

Learning Specialists

Learning specialists are available to meet with students privately to work with you to understand your needs/goals and make recommendations for study plans and learning strategies. Each learning specialist brings a unique background to the team and specializes in different areas. For further information on what a learning specialist is please visit the “What is a Learning Specialist?” button on the homepage of the Office of Student Development.

USMLE Step 1 and 2 Exam Preparation

During medical school you will be required to take and pass USMLE Step 1 and USMLE STEP 2 CK and CS. Both of these exams can provoke anxiety as you need to pass all of the exams in order to graduate with your M.D. Working with the Office of Student Development directly to monitor and map out your study plans and habits is quite advantageous to success on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams. Contact a learning specialist today start working on your individualized study plan for Step 1 or Step 2.

For questions regarding the testing environment for USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK, please contact our testing corrdinator Shaiya Tucker at shaiyatucker@medadmin.arizona.edu

NBME Practice Exams for Step 1

Students in year two must take two NBME practice formative assessments of their exam preparedness (commonly referred to as the “Mock USMLE exams”) in advance of the actual Step 1 examination. These two practice exams are provided by the Office of Student Development free of charge and will be scheduled at a specific day and time during your second year.

Practice exam results can aid in identifying the student’s strengths and weakness in specific systems and disciplines and can be helpful in creating a study plan with a learning specialist. Practice exams are only an estimate of performance at the time of the practice exam and cannot predict with 100% your score on your actual exam day.

Step 1 Retakes

We realize retaking Step 1 can be scary and make you anxious, but the Office of Student Development provides individualized support based on each student’s need and has various classes to assist in your preparation of taking Step 1 again. Please note there is a limit to how many times a student can take Step 1 as well as a time limit for taking exams. Please speak with your house dean and/or refer to the COM-Tucson grading and progression policy for further information.

Block Exam Reviews

With approval and coordination of the block directors in years one and two, the Office of Student Development can allow you to review your previous exams from the blocks. Reviewing an exam can assist you in identifying your strengths and weakness in specific subject matters as well as improve your test taking strategies. Make an appointment today to review your exam my e-mailing a specific learning specialist or studentdev@medicine.arizona.edu.

Block Remediation Assistance

A student who fails a course due to unsatisfactory performance in Medical Knowledge will be given the opportunity to remediate that course in the summer, unless the Student Progress Committee determines otherwise. The format of summer remediation will be developed by a content expert(s) from the block and an educational expert from the Office of Student Development.

Workshops/Presentations

Throughout your medical school career the Office of Student Development will offer relevant workshops/presentations. Past workshop/presentation topics include, but are not limited to:​

  • Step 1 Preperation 
  • Time Spaced Repetition 
  • How to Use Anki 
  • Step 2 CK Preparation
  • Staying Grounded During Step Prep
  • Exam Tips

Future topics of workshops/presentations are determined by the need of each class and may not include all of the topics above.

Subject-Specific Exam Preparation

For subject-specific preparation in clinical neurology, medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery, please visit the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) website.

Additionally, your clerkships in year three may provide review courses or workshops for shelf exams, contact your Clerkship Director or Coordinator to inquire about such opportunities.