Assessment of Student Academic Performance

5.2: Evaluation of Performance in Courses

All pre-clerkship MD program courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. It is the prerogative of each course director to determine the best method for assessing student performance for his or her course. Learning activities such as quizzes, short papers, laboratory exercises, problem sets, presentations, and group discussions, may be offered on a graded or ungraded basis at the discretion of the course director. Attendance and participation may be required where small group interaction is essential to mastery of material in the course. Course directors are expected to announce criteria for passing a course by the end of the second week of the quarter, with any subsequent modification only upon approval of a majority of students in the class.

5.4: Evaluation of Performance in Clinical Clerkships

Evaluation of performance in required clinical clerkships is accomplished through a combination of direct observation of clinical performance, written examinations, and/or standardized patient examinations. The clerkship director is responsible for providing a written evaluation of the student’s performance based on data provided by faculty, housestaff, and others who have observed the student’s work. Written evaluations of clerkship performance must be completed no later than four weeks after the end of the clerkship.

5.5: Standardized Patient Teaching and Assessment Activities

The Standardized Patient (SP) Program offers clinical skills training for medical students throughout the four-year curriculum. Its activities are designed to provide a simulated setting for the instruction and assessment of the clinical, cross-cultural and interpersonal skills of medical students. Real patients or actors are trained to consistently recreate the same clinical situation, findings, or problem with each student encounter. Practice of Medicine (POM) and several clerkships, including but not limited to Family Medicine, Ambulatory Medicine, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics/Gynecology, currently utilize the Standardized Patient Program in their curricula.

5.6: Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), also known as the Dean’s Letter, will be compiled by the Advising Deans and sent to residency program directors as part of the application to obtain positions for postgraduate training. The letter is submitted to residency programs in the autumn of the student’s final year in the MD program. This letter is a narrative evaluation of the student’s accomplishments in the MD program. Achievements during clinical clerkships and attributes as potential house officers and physicians are major points of emphasis. Recognition is included in the letter for accomplishments in research, teaching, and community service.  The MSPE will also include in the last sentence of the required clerkship narrative the student’s performance in each of three domains of the Criterion-Based Evaluation Initiative (CBEI). There will also be an appendix that describes CBEI, including the criteria used and the process used to collect data and formulate the summary evaluation.

updated August 2014

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: