MS2 Class Information – Jan. 19, 2023

Video: Studying for Step 1

Here is a message from Maya Sardesai, M.D., M.Ed., the Assistant Dean for Student Development in Student Affairs, about some things to remember when studying for Step 1.


ICYMI from last week: Thoughts about your upcoming clinical schedule

Clinical schedules will be coming out soon. Dr. Sardesai wanted to share thoughts about what you might consider in looking over your schedule. Hear from her in the video:


MSA Travel Grant deadline is Feb. 2

The Medical Student Association (MSA) Travel Grant supports medical students attending a regional, national or international conference by paying for conference registration, fees or airfare.

Students may receive one travel grant per academic year (July-June) and may only apply for one grant per application cycle (August and January). Students are typically notified within one month of the application deadline, pending MSA review. More information is available online here. Please note, due to the high volume of travel grant applications received, not all submissions are guaranteed an award.

All submissions must be submitted electronically by completing this form.

WHEN: The current application window is through Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. AK, 5 p.m. PT and 6 p.m. MT.

All awards must be submitted for payment or reimbursement processing by Wednesday, April 19.

WHO: Any UWSOM student may apply for the award.

HOW: Applications can be completed on this survey: Student Conference Travel Award Application.

ICYMI MS2 deadline for criminal background check is Jan. 31, 2023

Heads up about something you can complete after about Tuesday, Jan. 10: Students are required to renew their criminal background check (CBC) in January of their second year.  Students with any new findings on their criminal background check will be required to meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

ALL students are required to maintain compliance, including concurrent degree students (MSTP), students on a leave of absence and expanded students.  Students who completed a CBC within the last year may not be required to complete another one at this time. You will receive an email if you are exempt from the requirement.

Per the Student Handbook, students must complete a CBC upon admission, in January of second year, in January prior to graduation, and every two years if on an expanded schedule.

DEADLINE: Jan. 31, 2023

 There are two components to CBC compliance:

❶ Download the Request for Criminal History: Self-Disclosure, Consent, and ROI Form from your Castlebranch UW71 Compliance Tracker (form will be available to download after Jan 10).  Complete the form and upload it to your Castlebranch account.  Make sure your UW Student ID number is on the form.

Please note that the renewal in your CB account will not populate until 21 days prior to the January 31 deadline – around Jan. 10.

 Order a criminal background check.  Instructions for ordering background checks through CastleBranch:

    1. Paste the following link into your browser:

    1. Select: University of Washington School of Medicine
    2. Select UW71bg: I need to order my Background Check
    3. Use the same email address for your username that you used to create your immunizations account. Review the next 2 pages and click “next” and “continue”
    4. Place your order by entering your personal information and personal identifiers. When you are placing your order, on the screen that says, “Statewide Criminal WA,” the only state you can select is Washington.

    The Statewide Criminal WA is required by Washington State law for all healthcare workers. So even if you live in another state, because you are a UW student, the search needs to be done.

    1. Follow the instructions on the myCB web site. The email address you use when placing your order will become our username for myCB. Access your myCB anytime to view order status and completed results. The SOM will have access to view your completed CBC report from a separate web portal.

    If you have technical issues with the myCB site, please contact myCB Service Desk via phone, chat or email: 1-888-914-7279,

    1. You will be asked to authorize a $48.50 charge to your debit or credit cardDo not pay for anything extra! The $48.50 flat fee includes all aliases and addresses. International address searches are not required. If you are charged more please email Laura Ellis.
    2. Addresses and Aliases: You will be asked to list your current address. The residence history search will find all prior addresses. Likewise, you will be asked to enter your current name. The SSN search will find all previous names.
    3. You are also required to submit the UW Self Disclosure, Consent and Release of Information Form – Matriculated Students as mentioned in step 1 above.


Career Advising Student Advisory Board Tip of the Month 

We hope you had a restful winter break! We know you’re focused on Step 1 studying now, so lean into that and put specialty and career planning on hold. Make sure you have a weekly schedule with at least one full day off. Folks usually study for 10 hours daily, but do what it best for you! ‘

Since Step 1 is now pass/fail, consider taking the exam once you are achieving comfortable passing scores consistently in UWorld and on NBME’s. It is normal to score under 50 percent when starting UWorld, so don’t let this discourage you! Once you take the exam, use the rest of your break to relax and do the things you love, This can give you the reset you need before heading into clerkships. Good luck everyone! 

  • Reviewed by Career Advising Student Advisory BIPOC board member L’Oreal Kennedy. Originally written by BIPOC alum Shanelle Briggs.

In case you missed it, here is the previous newsletter for MS2s.

Have a great week!