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Medical Education
Medical Student Education

Appeal Policy for Summary Evaluation or Course Grade

Students who do not feel that their summary evaluation or grade accurately reflects their performance have up to four weeks after being notified of their summary evaluation or grade to ask for clarification or appeal of the grade from the clerkship, site, course, or elective director. 

  1. Clarification:

A student wishing to clarify how a clerkship grade or summary evaluation was determined should begin by reviewing the clerkship grading explanation on the clerkship website.

If the student still has questions, the next step is for the student to ask a clerkship, site, course, or elective director for clarification about a clerkship grade or summary evaluation. The director will respond by explaining how the grade and/or summary evaluation ratings and comments were determined.  This response may occur by email or in a meeting with the student.

  1. Appeal:

If the issue is not resolved after this clarification, the clerkship, site, course, or elective director will conduct a formal review of the clerkship grade or summary evaluation. In the core clerkships, the grading committee will re-review the student’s evaluation data along with any other information that has become available, such as a letter provided by the student with contextual information. In a clerkship that is not a core clerkship, the individual clerkship, course, or elective director conducts this re-review. The re-review can entail enlisting a “second opinion” in a timely manner from one more faculty members with expertise in the evaluation of learners in that clinical setting. Examples of such a “second opinion” are that a course director asks another faculty member to review the grading of an examination or a site director asks the clerkship director to review the student’s evaluations.

The clerkship, site, course, or elective director will return a final decision within 4 weeks of the submission of the appeal to the student.

The student cannot further appeal the evaluation or grade unless:

  1. The student feels that the evaluation or grade constitutes an act of discrimination (for example, that bias or wrongdoing by a faculty member has occurred: http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/stugr.html#1.0
    -or-
  2. The student feels there was an infringement of the student’s academic freedom: http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/somb.html#somreg

An example of possible infringement of academic freedom would be a faculty member grading a student lower based not on the student’s performance but rather upon the student's expression of opinions or academic positions that differed from that of the faculty member's opinions or positions (e.g. if the student wrote an opinion piece in the student paper with which the faculty member expressed disagreement).

Grievances are not the same as disagreements. A student cannot grieve a grade merely because the student disagrees with the grade. A student can grieve an act of discrimination or infringement of academic freedom expressed through grading.

A student’s grievance of an alleged act of discrimination as expressed through a summary evaluation or grade will be heard by the Ad Hoc Committee appointed pursuant to the academic grievance policy:
UCSF Academic Senate Divisional Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs
http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/stugr.html

A student’s grievance of an alleged infringement of academic freedom as expressed through a summary evaluation or grade will be heard by the Committee on Student Welfare:
UCSF Academic Senate Appendix IV Bylaws, Regulations, and Procedures of the School of Medicine Bylaws of the Faculty of the School of Medicine
http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/somb.html#somreg

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