Student Affairs Deans are responsible for preparing the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), sometimes referred to as the “Dean’s Letter.” The MSPE is a required element of the residency application process, and the BCM MSPE complies with AAMC guidelines. The MSPE includes the student’s identifying information and previous educational history, three student-composed noteworthy characteristics, special medical school awards, comments about leaves of absence, dual degree programs, pathways, and adverse actions. The MSPE includes narratives from each clinical rotation, as well as the student’s final grade for each rotation and a final summative paragraph highlighting the student’s performance in medical school.
The MSPE process begins late in the MS3 year or early in the MS4 year, several months before the MSPE submission deadline. Each medical student meets with a Student Affairs Dean to discuss the student’s residency goals, discuss application strategy, and review the contents of the MSPE. The medical specialties are divided among the Student Affairs Deans, and students are generally assigned to meet with the Student Affairs Dean with particular expertise in the student’s chosen specialty. The dean with whom a student meets for the MSPE meeting will be responsible for writing that student’s MSPE. Students are made aware of the division of specialties during the spring MS3 Residency Planning Workshop and again at the time the MSPE meeting is scheduled. However, students have the freedom to request to meet with a different Student Affairs Dean than the one to which they would normally be assigned according to specialty choice, no questions asked. Furthermore, if a student would prefer someone other than a Student Affairs Dean to write the MSPE, the student are instructed to make that request known to the Director of Student Affairs. In such a situation, the Director of Student Affairs will assign the student’s Learning Community Advisor to meet with the student and write the MSPE.
Before the MSPE is uploaded, students are afforded the opportunity to review the MSPE and are strongly advised to take advantage of this opportunity. Students are allowed to make edits to correct factual errors as well as errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Students who experienced either an Adverse Action or other type of academic difficulty requiring explanation in the MSPE as well as students who took a medical leave of absence, were placed on an administrative leave of absence, or experienced another type of gap in training requiring special explanation will be given an opportunity to review the description of the unique circumstance well in advance of the MSPE submission deadline. Therefore, the grievance process will be able to unfold without compromising the timely release of the MSPE. Students who take issue with any aspect of the MSPE narrative may request reconsideration of the narrative by informing the Director of Student Affairs of the request. The three Student Affairs Deans will then review the challenged language in a meeting to be held within 48 business hours of the initial request for reconsideration. If the panel of three Student Affairs Deans does not agree with student’s request, the student will be informed of his or her right to submit a formal grievance through the Integrity Hotline/Ethics Point system in accordance with Student Appeals & Grievances Policy 23.1.08. Submitting a grievance will allow for final resolution of the request to be determined through the formal institutional grievance policy.