SHELF and Step Study Tools Reimbursements

Dear Students,

For the past several years, we have served as a “middle person” between USMLEWorld QBank and the student body. This means that we purchased individual QBank subscriptions for each student. Despite our long history with this vendor, USMLEWorld has never provided us with an institutional discount. Moreover, their customer service had become decreasingly responsive to us (as an institution). 

In the past, we purchased the following from USMLEWorld:

  • $450 for SHELF study (360-day Step 2CK QBank)
  • $350 for Step 1 (60-day Step 1 QBank + 2 self-assessment forms)
  • $320 for Step 2 CK (30-day Step 2CK QBank + 2 self-assessment forms)

We know that USMLEWorld QBank is generally the student-preferred study tool for SHELF exams, Step 1, and Step 2CK. Yet, there may be other resources outside of USMLEWorld QBank that you might prefer for exam preparation.

Therefore, we are continuing the program we launched last year, wherein each individual student will have the opportunity to make their own exam prep purchases. This benefits you in three ways: 1) you get to choose when you want the study tools, 2) you can choose which study tools you want, and 3) Duke will still pay for it. 

It will work in the following manner:  students can purchase whatever study tools they would like, up to a total of $1,150. We have a limited budget that only allows $1,150 per person.  This is not an annual limit, but rather the total duration of your combined years of medical school.


Here are the reimbursement details:

  • Once you purchase your study aid, fill out the attached form and send to to request reimbursement.
  • Please be sure to attach PDF copies of all paid receipts, and the USMLE Study Prep Material – Reimbursement Form. Receipts older than one year will not be processed. This is per the Duke one-year policy of receipt reimbursement.
  • At this time, a reimbursement will be processed for you and you will receive either a check mailed to the address listed on your fillable form, or direct deposit to your personal checking account (if you are or have been on payroll). Direct deposits do not affect Bursar accounts and are not related.
  • Please allow approximately four weeks for processing. Crystal Harris and Felicia Marchis in the Medical Education Administration Office will be processing these to ensure you get your funds returned.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,


Deborah L. Engle, EdD, MS
Assistant Dean, Assessment and Evaluation
Associate Professor
Duke University School of Medicine
Seeley Mudd Bldg, Room 0374
DUMC 3899
Durham, NC  27710
phone:  919.684.8028
fax:  919.681.7799