The Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources (OSLER) is a comprehensive academic support unit created to promote a culture of academic excellence at UC Davis School of Medicine. OSLER provides services designed to assist students in developing sophisticated learning strategies to support academic success in medical school and to promote life-long learning. OSLER provides support to faculty helping them to review popular resources, construct NBME exams and write NBME-style test items. Learning specialists are available to work one-on-one with students helping them to assess their academic needs and develop and implement individualized learning plans. OSLER also provides services to support medical students as developing professionals including workshops related to effective learning techniques, study tools and resources, and preparation for exams.

Student Services

  1. Summer Pre-matriculation Program

OSLER is responsible for the Pre-matriculation Program, a course designed to help students make the transition to medical school. The program will be redesigned and extended in length to 3 weeks beginning in 2019. We believe that this intervention will help reduce the incidence of academic difficulties in the first block of medical school, which has predictive value for lower performance on USMLE. 

  1. Pre-Clerkship

Individual Support:

OSLER Learning Specialists are available to meet with students to provide support related to study skills, learning approaches and time management.

Weekly Learning Strategy Sessions:

OSLER offers weekly sessions during years 1 and 2 to introduce learning strategies and help students apply these strategies in their review of course content.

  1. USMLE (Steps 1 & 2)

“Practices and Approaches Related to Preparing Students for Step 1” by Joanna Arnold, PhD, Director of OSLER, and Sharad Jain, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs was commissioned by CEP as part of our study of USMLE preparation (Attachment 1). IORs should review this report and make use of the services and resources described. OSLER will partner with faculty and students to help achieve our shared goal of improving student performance on USMLE Step 1.

  1. Clerkship

OSLER provides support to students preparing for shelf exams.

Faculty Services

  1. NBME Customized Assessment Services

The web-based Customized Assessment Services (CAS) program allows faculty to create an examination tailored to local curriculum. A large, high quality pool of secure items assembled from the NBME basic science subject exam bank covering topics commonly taught in basic science coursework is available. Faculty can use this resource to create midterm or final exams that test content presented in their course and reflect the structure, depth and breadth of USMLE Step 1. Faculty interested in using this resource to build course exams can contact OSLER for more information and assistance.

  1. Support for Test Item Construction

OSLER is available to help IORs and faculty construct NBME-style multiple choice items or review existing multiple-choice items to identify items with structural flaws or items that do not follow the format used by the NBME.

  1. USMLE Resources

OSLER offers faculty access to a variety of resources that students frequently use when preparing for USMLE exams. These resources include question banks, review books and other video and web-based review resources.

For more information or to start services, visit OSLER's site.