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Medical Education
Educational Evaluations

Medical Student Surveys Policy

The UCSF School of Medicine's Office of Medical Education (OME) provides a variety of services that assist in the development, administration and analysis of surveys. These services include:

  • Consultation on CHR protocol development
  • Warehouse of curricular data available to faculty for use in program evaluation, educational research and quality improvement
  • Development of survey instruments and determination of best methodology for collecting data
  • Administration of surveys through online and paper-based technologies
  • Survey processing and data management

The UCSF School of Medicine (SOM) employs consistent procedures for notification and processing of surveys administered to medical students. The school requires anyone who sends surveys to medical students to do so in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy. While surveys may be developed for a variety of purposes, any data collected from UCSF SOM students by UCSF faculty and students should be made available to the Office of Medical Education upon request. Management of these data is essential for the success of this policy and its intent to reduce survey burden and strengthen research in medical education, curriculum evaluation and the overall quality of the data.

All surveys developed in accordance with this policy that gather feedback on core curricular programs and student services will clearly display the following official endorsement: “This survey is endorsed by the School of Medicine for the purpose of improving our programs and services.”

Other surveys developed with Office of Medical Education consultation will bear the following: “This survey is endorsed by the School of Medicine.”

These endorsements are intended to improve completion rates by our medical students. Endorsement requires CHR except for those surveys that are part of the UCSF SOM program evaluation as determined by the Director for Program Evaluation. OME will indicate to the researcher which endorsement has been granted. In the absence of either endorsement, students should complete any survey about their medical school experience at their own discretion.

Outside vendors, organizations and individuals not officially associated with the School of Medicine must have approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to survey UCSF medical students. The School of Medicine reserves the right to refuse access to our medical students by external constituents.

Reason for Policy
Excessive surveying of the student body concerns the school. The purpose of this policy is to reduce the survey burden on our students and maintain the effectiveness of those surveys required of our student body. The policy is intended to reduce surveying of redundant content. Therefore, the content of surveys should be reviewed to determine if the data are being gathered through other means. This policy allows us to strengthen educational research, improve program evaluation, and facilitate curricular innovation.

Policy and Procedures
All individuals conducting surveys of medical students should go through the steps that the Office of Medical Education has defined for conducting a formal survey, as follows:

  • Surveys that are part of a research study must be accompanied by a copy of the approved protocol from the Committee on Human Research (CHR) before they can be implemented. The following link describes the policies and procedures related to The Human Research Protection Program . The Office of Medical Education (OME) encourages faculty to work with us in developing educational research protocols and survey instruments prior to applying for CHR approval. We are experienced at describing data collection and security measures in CHR protocols.
  • Upon approval of a request the responsible representative within OME will coordinate final development and dissemination of the survey. This will ensure accuracy and appropriate survey design.
  • Survey data will be compiled and distributed in a timely manner through OME.
  • For survey services and consultation, please contact the Research and Development in Medical Education (RadME):

Survey Priority
In the event that there are multiple requests to survey medical students within the same timeframe, the following criteria will be used to determine priority (from highest to lowest priority):

  1. Core education programs
  2. UCSF faculty and student educational research
  3. UCSF medical student initiated surveys not related to educational research
  4. Other proposed and approved surveys

Data Collection and Reporting
The Office of Medical Education (OME) is responsible for analyzing the data related to core SOM educational programs and providing results to the surveying party and educational leadership (priority 1 and 2 above). Priority 1 and 2 data sets collected outside of OME should be made available upon request and should include a codebook and relevant data analysis. OME is not responsible for analyzing data that is not directly related to core educational programs, but will provide raw data to the surveying party. Should the investigator require data in a certain format, they should submit a request in writing and allow ten (10) business days for processing. Special requests, such as contracting with an outside firm for data analysis, should be discussed and coordinated with OME during the initial development of the survey. OME will maintain copies of all data related to medical student programs.

Survey Participation
Although a professional expectation of our students includes the ongoing improvement and development of programs, investigators conducting surveys of UCSF medical students may not force or compel users to participate. The survey requestor is responsible for initiating all publicity for their respective surveys. Methods for publicizing surveys can be suggested by the Office of Medical Education in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.