Access and Learning

The College of Medicine-Phoenix strives for our learning experiences to be as accessible as possible for all students.

Temporary or Chronic Medical Conditions or Disabilities

If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on a temporary or chronic medical condition or disability, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC can assist you with receiving accommodations for block exams and shelf exams.  Keep in mind, that receiving accommodations for the pre-clerkship blocks does not necessarily mean you will receive accommodations for board exams. 


The DRC is the official department designated by the University of Arizona to determine and provide access to classes, programs, and activities for students with disabilities. These processes are designed to be convenient for students. The DRC is dedicated to keeping all personal student information confidential and complies with the standards set by the Family Education Records and Privacy Act (FERPA), applicable federal and/or state law, and university practices/policies.

Learn more about the DRC and access to learning

USMLE Testing Accommodations

The USMLE provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodation. If you anticipate a need for accommodation based on a temporary or chronic medical condition or disability, you must submit your application for each Step exam and your request for test accommodations with required documentation at the same time.

Special notes:

  • It may take up to 90 days to process your testing accommodation request. USMLE score reports do not include an annotation that a testing accommodation was granted. We encourage students to begin this process sooner rather than later.  
  • First-year medical students are encouraged to begin their exploration of this process before the PAL block.  
  • We are here to support you and your application for USMLE accommodations. Your Learning Specialist or the Director of Student Development is happy to walk through the steps of this process and provide feedback on your personal statement which is a required component of the application process. 

Review the USMLE testing accommodation process now
Check out any and all updates on the accommodation process
Review additional information about this process for Step 1 and Step 2 now
Review Dr. Lisa Meeks ' guide to disability accommodations for the USMLE Step exams created for the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (opens a PDF)




Do I have a disability? 

I am not sure if I have a disability or medical condition that may warrant exam accommodations. If you suspect you have an undiagnosed disability that may impact your performance on USMLE Step 1 exam, contact the University of Arizona's Disability Resources Center (DRC) to find out next steps and possible resources for assessment. 




I have a disability that is already documented. If so, go through the following checklist questions to determine next steps. 

  • Does the documentation justify the requested accommodation for the exam? If not, do you have the time and means to acquire the documentation needed to justify the request? 
  • Is the documentation current? If not, you will need to obtain more current documentation. Learn more about USMLE's guidelines for disability verification >> 
  • Can I provide supplemental information (observational supports, historical data, proof of past accommodations for prior exams, etc.) If not, work with the DRC and your Learning Specialist. 

If you answered "yes" to these questions move forward with your request for accommodations. If you answered "no" to any of the following questions, please work with the DRC and our office to determine next steps. 

Download and print a flow chart of this process (opens a PDF) developed by our colleagues in Student Development at the University of Arizona's College of Medicine in Tucson. for a medical student's insight into this process?
Check out this presentation created by Bryan Little, a current 4th year at the University of Arizona's College of Medicine in Tucson. Watch his narrated presentation on the USMLE accommodations process now (opens PowerPoint) >> 

Unsure where to start? When to start?
Please refer to this checklist: Review this checklist and timeline now (opens Word).docx >>

Are you already eligible for accommodations through the DRC?
If so, the Certificate of Prior Test Accommodations (CPTA) is required for the USMLE application.  Open and save a copy of the CPTA form now (opens a PDF).pdf

The ABLE Clinic on the main campus provides individuals with evaluations and testing to assist in diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and coordination of care. Learn more about ABLE Clinic now >>  

Or feel free to call or email directly. You may also fill out their online Inquiry Form to request services.


Individuals may request to bring and use their breast pumps during authorized breaks. Requests are required because the NBME needs to notify the testing center in advance. 

Learn more about this requesting additional breaks for nursing/breastfeeding now >>

Veterans Services

The University of Arizona strives to provide the support and resources necessary for student veterans to achieve academic success. Check out the following resources. If you have additional questions, please see your Learning Specialist