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Medical Education
Medical Student Education

Clinical Studies Assessment and Grading Policy

I. Overview and philosophy

UCSF students are expected to achieve competence upon graduation. For each competency, UCSF has developed milestones that students are expected to achieve by defined time points in the four-year curriculum. In the Clinical Core and Advanced Studies, students’ progress in particular competency domains is assessed through a variety of methods within each clerkship or course and longitudinally. Criteria for achievement of competence within each clerkship or course and competency domain are defined by the faculty.

II. Assessment and grades

All core clerkships and most four-week advanced clinical courses are graded Honors/Pass/Incomplete/Provisional Non-Pass/Fail (H/P/I/E/F). Two-week clinical electives and non-clinical electives are graded Pass/Incomplete/Provisional Non-Pass/Fail; Honors is not available in these courses. Off-campus clerkships are graded as Pass/Fail only, and are not eligible for Honors.

The Incomplete “I” grade is assigned when a student’s work is of passing quality, but incomplete for a valid reason. The provisional non-passing “E” grade is assigned when a student’s work is below passing quality. Remediation is required for a non-passing performance. Requirements to convert an I or E grade to a “P” grade are established by the course director. Once a student has successfully fulfilled these requirements, s/he must submit a Removal of Provisional Grade Petition.

For more information on grades, see Academic Senate School of Medicine by-laws (section VI. GRADES AND CREDITS FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF MEDICINE and appendix IV section VI http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/somb.html).

A. Clinical Core
The standard of achievement is a “Pass,” which is achieved through passing performance on clerkship evaluations submitted in the electronic evaluation system by supervising residents and attendings, written examinations, other assignments, assessment of professional behavior, and any other required learning activities including makeup work for missed sessions. For each clerkship, the clerkship/site director will specify during clerkship orientation whether each individual exam, assignment, and/or other required learning activity must be passed OR if passing the clerkship is determined by an aggregate score of all evaluations, exams, assignments and other learning activities. Each clerkship’s iROCKET site has a grading overview page. By school policy, Honors are assigned to no more than 45% of students in each core clerkship.

Students in the PISCES, KLIC, Model SFGH, and LIFE longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) meeting the standard of achievement receive “In Progress” (IP) grades in the Registrar’s system during the LIC. At the conclusion of the LIC, students are assigned a grade for each clerkship completed within the LIC. The yearlong LICs have periodic global assessment check-ins at which the LIC course directors assess each student’s overall performance. For any student whose work is below passing quality in one or more disciplines, the LIC course directors assign a provisional non-passing grade that is equivalent to 6 or more units of the “Provisional Non-Passing” (E) grade for that quarter and has the same academic consequences as receiving an E grade in non-LIC courses. For details about associated academic consequences, please see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Academic Senate School of Medicine by-laws (section VII. SCHOOL OF MEDICINE STUDENT PROGRESS REQUIREMENTS).

B. Advanced Studies
The standard of achievement in clinical rotations is a “Pass,” which is achieved through passing performance on clerkship evaluations submitted in E*Value by supervising residents and attendings, other assignments, assessment of professional behavior, and any other required learning activities including makeup work for any missed sessions. For each clinical rotation, the clerkship/site director will specify the grading policy for that course.

III. Assessments outside of individual clinical rotations and courses

During their third and early fourth year, all students are required to take the Clinical Performance Exam (CPX) series, a three-part standardized patient (SP) program. Passage of the third component of the series, the CPX, is a graduation requirement.

IV. Assistance with learning

While no formal program exists for tutoring or individualized preparation for medical knowledge exams during the third and fourth years, students are encouraged to consult with clerkship directors, staff advisors, the Associate Dean for Students, the Associate Dean for Curriculum, or their Advisory College Mentor if they feel that they are struggling and need additional learning support. The campus Learning Resource Services can also assist with clerkship learning through workshops and individual consultations. The School of Medicine Clinical Skills Guidance Program offers additional clinical skills support and is recommended to students based on performance on the OSCE, early clerkships, and the Mini-CPX2.

V. Accommodations for students with disabilities

Course directors are committed to providing academic accommodations for students with disabilities. To be eligible for accommodations for clerkship or assessment activities on the basis of a disability, students must provide documentation from Medical Student Disability Services well in advance of the clerkship. Students are advised to notify the clerkship director well in advance of the clerkship about any disability accommodations that are needed and, at a minimum, two weeks before clerkship begins.

Approved by ICSC January 2013

Updated November 2016

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