The Revised Medical School Performance Evaluation: Does It Meet the Needs of Its Readers?

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Grad Med Educ


Background: The Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE) is an important factor for application to residency programs. Many medical schools are incorporating recent recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges MSPE Task Force into their letters. To date, there has been no feedback from the graduate medical education community on the impact of this effort. Objective: We surveyed individuals involved in residency candidate selection for internal medicine programs to understand their perceptions on the new MSPE format. Methods: A survey was distributed in March and April 2018 using the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine listserv, which comprises 4220 individuals from 439 residency programs. Responses were analyzed, and themes were extracted from open-ended questions. Results: A total of 140 individuals, predominantly program directors and associate program directors, from across the United States completed the survey. Most were aware of the existence of the MSPE Task Force. Respondents read a median of 200 to 299 letters each recruitment season. The majority reported observing evidence of adoption of the new format in more than one quarter of all medical schools. Among respondents, nearly half reported the new format made the MSPE more important in decision-making about a candidate. Within the MSPE, respondents recognized the following areas as most influential: academic progress, summary paragraph, graphic representation of class performance, academic history, and overall adjective of performance indicator (rank). Conclusions: The internal medicine graduate medical education community finds value in many components of the new MSPE format, while recognizing there are further opportunities for improvement.

Volume Number


Issue Number



475 - 478

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Science Education

Additional Departments

General Internal Medicine






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