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MSPE FAQs

Can a submitted MSPE be revised after October 1?

The MSPE is part of a learner’s official record. As such, any changes or additions made once an MSPE has been submitted should be made only as addenda to the original and not to the original itself. Addenda should only be added if a learner is (re)applying in a follow-up match cycle and should only include information that is new since the original submission. No addenda should be added for the purposes of SOAP.

Should research/scholarly work be included in the MSPE? If so, where should it be noted?

Research is a self-contained section in ERAS and in an applicant’s CV, and the MSPE should try to avoid repeating information found elsewhere in the application. However, including research or scholarly work in the MSPE is ultimately up to the discretion of the MSPE writer and the student. If you decide to include it in the MSPE, it should be as one of the three Noteworthy Characteristics.

What format should I use for MSTP or other dual degree students?

An MD/PhD student spends an immense amount of time on their PhD work, which truly deserves a letter of its own. This standalone letter could be referenced within the MSPE as such, “Please see the letter from Dr. X for details of the four years Student Y spent doing her PhD work.” Consider adopting a similar approach for any dual-degree student.

The previous template had a section on transfer students that asked for dates. Should that information still be included in the revised MSPE? If so, where?

Yes, you can include that information in the Academic History section as follows:
Example:
ACADEMIC HISTORY
Date of Initial Matriculation in Prior Medical School  
Date of Matriculation in Current Medical School  
Date of Expected Graduation from Medical School  


Is there a preferred way for how fail grades in the pre-clinical years should be reported?

In the Academic History section, note the fail grade and succinctly describe how it was remediated.
Example:
ACADEMIC HISTORY
Was the student required to repeat or otherwise remediate any course work during her medical education? If yes, please explain. Yes
Student N successfully completed the second-year Microbiology & Infectious Disease course through reexamination

How should professionalism lapses be reported in the MSPE?

Information on professionalism should be included in a designated section in the Academic Progress section. Provide a succinct explanation of your school’s process for determining what rises to the level of inclusion in the MSPE, the professionalism issue(s) at hand, the actions taken to remediate the issue, and the outcome.
Example 1:
ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Professional Performance
Jay Smith received a report for unprofessional behavior during his second year of medical school. The student, along with other students, used a hotel room during a medical school event and were cited for causing minor damage to the room. In addition to the professionalism citation, the student was asked to pay for the damage, and he complied. There have not been any further incidents of unprofessional behavior from this student.
Example 2:
ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Professional Performance
Jessica Smith received a formal citation for unprofessional behavior after failure to respond to a professor’s request to meet. The student was sent three emails requesting a meeting and all the emails went unanswered. This rose to the level of a professionalism citation because the student had several prior citations for failure to respond to emails.

What are the guidelines for editing clerkship narratives?

Clerkship narratives should be edited at the clerkship level, not at the MSPE writer level. Set the expectation with clerkship directors that they should edit the clerkship narratives for length and succinctness and that this editing should be done before the narrative is sent to the MSPE author(s). We strongly encourage institutional leadership to consider faculty development in writing formative and summative evaluations.

Can elective and M4 rotations be included in the MSPE?

Yes, the MSPE may include any information available by October 1 of the year it is submitted, including M4 clerkship grades and evaluations.

What is the preferred way to list/show failed clerkships? Should there be two entries or a single entry with two arrows?

Fail grades on clerkships should be noted in two places: 1) Academic History section and 2) the appropriate clerkship summary. In addition to noting the fail grade, include a description of what constituted a failure and how the failure was remediated. It is not necessary to include two separate clerkship entries—combine the failed and successful remediation into a single entry with one arrow indicating performance in the passing clerkship. 
Example 1:
ACADEMIC HISTORY
Was the student required to repeat or otherwise remediate any course work during her medical education? If yes, please explain. Yes, Student Z required an additional four weeks of clinical experience on her Internal Medicine clerkship to achieve the required competencies. See additional details in the Internal Medicine clerkship summary.
ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Clerkships (in chronological order)
Internal Medicine (Month - Month 201X)            Grade: Pass
Student Z required an additional four weeks of clinical experience on her internal medicine clerkship to achieve the required competencies. At the completion of this time, she was evaluated as follows: Student Z received feedback well and took personal responsibility for achieving these competencies, actively seeking practice and feedback. Evaluators found her to improve her presentation, medical knowledge and differential diagnosis skills across the duration of the additional time. Comments include… Student Z fully achieved all required competencies in this rotation.
Example 2:
ACADEMIC HISTORY
Was the student required to repeat or otherwise remediate any course work during her medical education? If yes, please explain. Example: Student K required a repeat of the clinical and/ or exam component(s) of the Obstetrics/Gynecology clerkship to achieve the following competencies: medical knowledge and patient care. See additional details in the Obstetrics/Gynecology clerkship section.
Clerkships (in chronological order)
Obstetrics/Gynecology (Month 201X)                     Grade: Pass
Student K required a repeat of the clinical and/ or exam component(s) of this clerkship to achieve the following competencies: medical knowledge and patient care. These competencies were achieved; evaluators noted Student K actively read about the differential diagnosis and resultant plans on his patients. He improved his skills in organizing patient problems, prioritizing issues, and determining appropriate care plans. Comments include…
NOTE: If a student requires a second attempt on an exam but satisfies all other clerkship requirements, you need only include a notation in the Academic History section.  
Example 2:
ACADEMIC HISTORY
Was the student required to repeat or otherwise remediate any course work during her medical education? If yes, please explain. Student H passed the shelf exam/OSCE/oral exam for clerkship X on the second administration.

My school has clinical rotations in some disciplines split over 3 years (i.e. 1 discipline has clinical rotation in each of the 3 years). Should we put one combined graph of each discipline for the 3 years in our MSPEs or put separate graphs for every year of the disciplines?

Schools with clinical rotations that are split across multiple years should include separate graphs for each year.

It sounds like the Task Force wants schools to do something different with the Summary section. What should we include?

The Task Force recommends providing a summative assessment, based upon the school’s evaluation system, of the student’s comparative performance in medical school, relative to his/her peers. Schools should include information about any school-specific categories used in differentiating among levels of student performance. The Task Force also recommends including a final “adjective” or “overall rating” only if a school-wide comparison of the applicant is provided. If a school-wide comparison is not provided to give this designation context, the Task Force recommends that the final “adjective” or “overall rating” be eliminated entirely.

We don’t rank students or put them into percentiles (e.g., quartiles, quintiles) at my school. Do we need to start doing that in the revised MSPE?

No, schools that do not rank students or put them into percentiles do not need to begin doing so. If you use descriptor words or other designations, the important element is to describe what criteria constitute a particular descriptor or designation.
Example:
SUMMARY
Student G has earned the designation of excellent as a candidate for graduate medical education. The designation of excellent is given to students who have a majority of high pass grades, with additional consideration given to leadership, service, and research activities and other scholarly accomplishments. Roughly 35% of our students earn this designation.