A program director's guide to the medical student performance evaluation (former dean's letter) with a database

James B. Naidich*, Gregory M. Grimaldi, Pamela Lombardi, Lawrence P. Davis, Jason J. Naidich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The value of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) for a program director is in the information it contains comparing how a student performed in medical school relative to his or her classmates. The Association of American Medical Colleges has recommended that a student's class ranking be included in the summary paragraph of the MSPE and that this information be repeated in a supplementary appendix. Methods: The authors reviewed the MSPEs from 1,479 applications for residency training positions. The aim was to determine to what extent and in what manner individual schools reveal how their students perform relative to their peers. The authors then set out to create a database containing this information. Results: Working from a list of 141 US members of the Association of American Medical Colleges, complete information for 107 schools (76%) and partial information for the remaining 34 schools (24%) was gathered. Only 12 schools (9%) included complete comparative information in the summary section in accordance with the guidelines of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Other schools were in partial compliance or did not comply at all. The database the authors constructed will inform users if comparative information is available, guide users to its location in the MSPE, and explain the meaning of the language different schools use to rank or classify their students. Conclusions: The authors recognize that this database is incomplete and that the individual institutions will alter their ranking system from time to time. But this database is offered in an open format so that it can be continuously updated by users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-615
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Dean's letter
  • MSPE
  • medical student performance
  • resident applications
  • student evaluations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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