Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean's Letters)

General Information about your MSPE: The MSPE (aka Dean’s Letter) is an evaluation of your performance in medical school as compared to your peers. It is NOT a letter of recommendation. THE MSPE is released to your programs on October 1.

Content: The MSPE contains six sections:

The Identifying Information section includes the:

  • Student’s legal name.
  • Name and location of the medical school.

The Unique Characteristics section includes a brief statement about the unique characteristics of the student, as follows:

  • Information about special considerations, including any distinguishing characteristics exhibited by the student in medical school (e.g., demonstrated leadership and research abilities, participation in community service activities).
  • Information about any significant challenges or hardships encountered by the student during medical school.

The Academic History section includes:

  • The month and year of the student’s initial matriculation in, and expected graduation from, medical school.
  • An explanation, based on school-specific policies, of any extensions, leave(s) of absence, gap(s), or break(s) in the student’s educational program.
  • Information about the student’s prior, current, or expected enrollment in, and the month and year of the student’s expected graduation from, dual, joint, or combined degree programs.
  • Information, based upon school-specific policies, of coursework that the student was required to repeat or otherwise remediate during the student’s medical education.
  • Information, based on school-specific policies, of any adverse action(s) imposed on the student by the medical school or its parent institution.

The Academic Progress section includes information about the student’s academic performance and professional attributes in preclinical/basic science coursework and core clinical and elective rotations, as follows:

  • Narrative information regarding the student’s overall (rather than course-specific) performance in the preclinical/basic science curriculum.
  • Narrative information regarding the student’s overall performance on each core clinical clerkship and elective rotation completed to date, with a focus on summative, rather than formative, comments by clerkship/elective directors. This information should be provided in the chronological order in which the student completed each core clinical clerkship and elective rotation. Information should be provided about the location of any “away” elective rotations.
  • Narrative information about the student’s level of initiative, enthusiasm, and ability to self-start in all curricular components.
  • An assessment of the student’s compatibility with faculty members, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients during all curricular components.

The Summary section includes a summative assessment, based upon the school’s evaluation system, of the student’s comparative performance in medical school, relative to his/her peers, including information about any school-specific categories used in differentiating among levels of student performance.

Appendices A-E will appear after the summary of your MSPE. They are as follows:

  • Appendix A - Graphic Representations of Comparative Performance in Preclinical/Basic Science Coursework
  • Appendix B - Graphic Representations of Comparative Performance in Core Clinical Clerkships
  • Appendix C - Graphic Representations of Comparative Performance in Professional Attributes
  • Appendix D - Graphic Representations of Overall Comparative Performance in Medical School (in Quartiles)
  • Appendix E - Medical School Information Page

For more information consult the AAMC's Guide to the Preparation of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation