The Effect of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Curriculum on United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 Performance

Adam P. Fagin, Mark Engelstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Over the years, a few types of combined oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS)–MD residency curricula have evolved that differ in how the MD is integrated. The purpose of this study was to look for a difference in United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Step 1 pass rates among these different curricula. Materials and Methods: An anonymous electronic survey was e-mailed to the directors of all 46 United States–based OMS-MD–integrated programs, querying OMS curriculum type and USMLE Step 1 results over the years 2007-2017. Programs were then characterized by the curriculum sequence, whether USMLE Step 1 was taken before or after starting medical school, and the amount of dedicated test preparation time. Results: Of 46 OMS-MD program directors, 32 (70%) responded. No statistically significant difference in the USMLE Step 1 pass rate was found among the 4 main types of OMS-MD curricula (range, 89 to 95%; P =.06). Completing some part of medical school before taking USMLE Step 1 also had no effect on OMS residents’ pass rates (94% vs 92%, P =.23). However, an increasing number of weeks of dedicated test preparation time was significantly correlated with increasing USMLE Step 1 pass rates (87% with no dedicated test preparation time, increasing to 96% with ≥6 weeks of dedicated test preparation time; P =.05). Finally, only 7 of 806 total residents (0.9%) dropped out of a program because of the inability to pass USMLE Step 1. Conclusions: The data show a high overall USMLE Step 1 pass rate with a direct correlation between the duration of dedicated test preparation time and pass rate. No difference in USMLE Step 1 pass rates was observed based on the sequence of OMS-MD–integrated curricula or the completion of some pre-USMLE medical school before USMLE Step 1 among OMS residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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