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Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

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The MSPE is a summary letter of evaluation intended to provide residency program directors an honest and objective summary of a student’s salient experiences, attributes, and academic performance. In 2016, the AAMC MSPE Task Force released recommendations for revising the MSPE that emphasized increased standardization across schools and inclusion of grading rubrics and comparative performance data. These recommendations remain in place, but some elements of them needed to be adapted for the upcoming residency application cycle to reflect the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The GSA Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) MSPE Effective Practices Working Group has released new guidance and an adapted template for addressing COVID-19 related curricular, evaluative, and other changes in the MSPE. The new COVID-19-specific guidance emphasizes clarity over uniformity in describing the impact(s) of the pandemic on the applicant’s academic experience, using the 2016 MSPE Task Force recommendations as the foundation.

MSPE Guidance and Recommendations Documents

2016 AAMC MSPE Task Force Recommendations

  • Standardize, to extent possible, information in the MSPE across schools, and present it clearly, concisely, and in a way that allows it to be easily located.
  • Highlight the six ACGME Core Competencies when possible.
  • Include details on professionalism—both deficient and exemplary performance.
  • Replace “Unique Characteristics” with “Noteworthy Characteristics.”
  • Limit “Noteworthy Characteristics” to three bulleted items that highlight an applicant's salient experiences and attributes.
  • Locate comparative data in the body of the MSPE.
  • Include information on how final grades and comparative data are derived (i.e., grading schemes).
  • Provide school-wide comparisons if using the final “adjective” or “overall rating and define terms used.
  • Limit the MSPE to 7 single-spaced pages in 12-point font.
  • Include six sections: Identifying Information, Noteworthy Characteristics, Academic History, Academic Progress, Summary, and Medical School Information. Please see the full MSPE Recommendations  for more detailed guidance on content in each section.

MSPE FAQs

Working Group Rosters

Please send any questions or suggestions to mspe@aamc.org.

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