Deceleration: Alternative Distribution of Preclinical Courses

Deceleration is an alternative distribution of the preclinical courses that allows students to complete the first and second year curriculum in three years. Deceleration may allow students to decompress their curriculum or repeat a course or courses in which they have deficiencies or failing grades. Deceleration may be voluntary for a variety of reasons including academic, family, health, personal or disability concerns, or may be required of students having significant academic difficulty. The SOM Educational Policies define academic difficulty as failing grades (F) or condition grades (CO, CO/P, or CO/F).

  • Voluntary Deceleration

    Students may request permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to voluntarily decelerate if there are personal, family, health, or looming academic concerns that will impact successful progress through the preclinical curriculum. Students who decelerate voluntarily are usually acting proactively, before experiencing academic difficulty. Typically, students who decelerate voluntarily have more flexibility in determining the way in which they will distribute their courses.

  • Mandatory Deceleration

    The Student Promotions Committee (SPC) may recommend deceleration as a means to remediate deficiencies and as a preventative measure to avoid further academic difficulty. The SPC may specify the plan for deceleration and the schedule of courses that the student is to take, or defer to the judgment of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

Students in the decelerated curriculum must successfully complete all required courses of the first and second preclinical curriculum. Upon decelerating, students delay their graduation by one year, and are subject to revisions in curriculum requirements and changes in tuition and fees of their new graduating class.

The transcript will reflect withdrawal (W) when students withdraw from a course after the course has initially convened. To withdraw from a course, students must meet with the Educational Resources Coordinator (ERC) and submit a signed Pre-Clinical Schedule Change Form to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for approval. Upon approval, the ERC will notify the Course Director, Office of the Registrar, the Student Promotions Committee, and the Medical Sciences Teaching Lab (MSTL) curriculum support person.

Both the transcript and the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean’s letter) indicate that a student has decelerated.

Decelerated students participate in ICM 1.5 in order to maintain or improve clinical skills (interview, physical exams, clinical reasoning) developed during the first year in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course. Students are required to meet with the ICM 1.5 tutor at least two times per semester. Direct ICM 1.5 questions to Kimberly Bussey. Students do not participate in Community Week when in ICM 1.5, and usually do not continue to be assigned to the same ICM tutor throughout the first and second year curriculum. Contact Gina Horne with questions about Community Week.

Students will take Step One of the USMLE after completing the first and second year pre-clinical curriculum.

Deceleration does not impact Clinical Curriculum.

Deceleration may impact eligibility to participate in the most competitive residency programs.