College of Medicine and Life Sciences News

FAQs: Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

For current fourth year medical students: Frequently Asked Questions about your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Note: This information is for current M4 students who are participating in the residency application process at The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences (UTCOM). If you are a UTCOM M1, M2 or M3 student, please see this post for an introduction to the MSPE. If you are a student at another medical school, please consult your Student Affairs office for details about your school’s process.

FAQs:

“When will I get my MSPE for review?”

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will let you know when the MSPE drafts begin going out. The order that we received biosketches largely determines the order in which MSPEs are being written. (If you uploaded your biosketch to the OSA Match Central site, thank you–it has been received.)

MSPE drafts will be going out continually during this time up until October 1, even on evenings and weekends, so be sure to check your Rocket email regularly.

As a reminder, the first day that MSPEs can be released nationally is October 1. No MSPEs can be released to programs before this date.

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“I’d like to discuss my MSPE/my biosketch/my CV/my personal statement/______. Can I drop by your offices?”

Drop in and appointment times during the month of September leading up to October 1 will be limited due to the intensive nature of the MSPE writing, revision and uploading process. Dr. McGinnis, Dr. Schaefer, Dr. Wroblewski, Dr. Perry, and Ms. Durivage will continue to respond to non-MSPE-related emails in as timely a manner as possible. We really appreciate your patience in delaying all but urgent matters during this time.

If you were not able to attend one of the CV/personal statement workshops or one-on-one review sessions, please make use of other UTCOM resources (e.g., the Witing Center, the Academic Enrichment Center, your mentors/advisors), AAMC Careers in Medicine site, and resources available on the OSA Match Central Blackboard site.

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“How will I get my MSPE draft to review?”

You will get an email from the “Medical Student ERAS” email address. This email will come to your Rockets email address. Attached to that email will be a PDF of your MSPE, minus the Appendices that will be attached to your final uploaded version. (These appendices are archived in the Blackboard OSA Match Central site for your reference.)

In the email will be instructions for submitting requested changes and/or your release to have your MSPE uploaded to ERAS. Please open this email promptly and begin reviewing your MSPE as soon as possible. In most circumstances you will have only 24 hours to get back to us with requested changes.

Don’t share this draft with residency programs. Residency programs are only permitted to access MSPEs through the ERAS system.

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“What should I be checking for in my MSPE draft?”

Please see the OSA Match Central Blackboard site for a checklist of some common items requiring your review. (PDF document, “Checklist for Reviewing Your MSPE”: **CENTERS** > Resource Center)

In some cases your MSPE author may have highlighted in yellow text that requires your feedback or answers. Please be sure you address these items in your review and response.

Some of the things you should review include:

Name:

  • Your legal name is used in the MSPE. Contact us if there are issues with your name, for example, due to a recent name change, and we can work with you to try to resolve with the Registrar.
  • All male students are “Mr.” and female students are “Ms.” regardless of relationship status. Exception: students with a previous doctoral-level degree are “Dr.”
  • Sometimes preceptors use a nickname or short name version for you in their comments. If so, we kept these in cases where it is not likely to cause confusion (e.g., “Mike” for “Michael”). If you feel the names are different enough that it might cause confusion, let us know and we can explore how to potentially handle this.

Unique characteristics:

  • Please double check the accuracy of the information in this paragraph. For example, your MSPE writer may have misinterpreted your involvement with a research project or participation in a student organization.
  • We try our best to include your most recent information as submitted by you in your biosketch, but we may have missed some things. If there is updated information you believe should be included (e.g., a previously “submitted” publication has now been accepted by a journal, completed an additional medical mission trip, etc.) let us know. We’ll automatically update A?A status.

Clerkships:

  • Required 3rd-year core clerkships will be included.
  • Required 3rd-year elective will be included.
  • Both of above will be in chronological order.
  • No 4th year courses or electives are included. (3rd year course completed in 4th year up to this point are included.)
  • Some students have additional coursework that will be included in order to explain gaps due to leaves of absence, required remediation, etc.

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“What do I do if I want changes to be made to my MSPE?”

The email containing your MSPE draft will provide instructions about how to request changes to your MSPE so please read these carefully. You should respond via your Rocket email with details about requested changes including the location of the text (e.g., “page x, third paragraph under Internal Medicine clerkship…”). Please do not attach documents: only include responses in the body of your email.

In your email back to us with requested changes, please include a telephone number where you can be reached. Again, only respond via your Rocket email.

Also–please only respond to the Medical Student ERAS mailbox. This is a shared mailbox that all five of us monitor regularly. Because our focus during this period is MSPEs, we will be giving top priority to mail received in this email inbox.

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“What happens after I submit my change requests?”

Once your email request has been received, we will review it.

In cases of simple changes (e.g., spelling, quick factual changes) the edits will be made and a final draft emailed back to you without any further dialog between you and the writer.

In other cases, the original writer will need to speak further with you about your request. This may happen via email or telephone. After any issues are resolved, you will receive a revised final copy by email for final review.

More complicated or extensive requests for revisions may require multiple authors to consult together and/or approval from Dr. McGinnis.

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“I asked for a negative comment from a preceptor to be removed but my request was denied. Why?”

We are required by the AAMC to provide information about your performance in your clerkships including such things as your level of initiative, enthusiasm, and ability to self-start as well as preceptors’ perceptions of your compatibility with faculty members, peers, members of the health care team, and patients. These comments are downloaded verbatim into your MSPE directly from the MedEd portal, with minor edits to correct spelling and improve readability.

The focus of these comments should be “summative” as opposed to “formative.” Thus, in writing your MSPE we often will remove transition statements from preceptors meant to give you feedback on how you should improve, such as “Student should read more” or “Student needs to get better at history taking.”

But summary statements about your final performance from the perspective of the preceptor are left in the MSPE. We will not generally delete summative comments from your MSPE based solely on your desire not to have them included.

You may appeal your MSPE writer’s decision about leaving in a comment. Please be aware that this may delay your MSPE being finalized. In particular, we may have to place such requests at the end of the MSPE writing/review queue in order to be fair to other students in line.

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“I’m finished reviewing my MSPE and it is set to go. What next?”

The email with your draft will contain important instructions for you to follow for giving permission for the MSPE to be released to ERAS.

Once we receive this form from you (digitally signed and emailed back to us) we compile the final version with the MSPE writer’s signature and the appendices and upload it to the appropriate slot in your ERAS application.

Once it is uploaded, you will be able to tell from your ERAS Dashboard that it is there. Programs that you have applied to will not be able to download the MSPE until October 1. You won’t receive a copy of the final version with signature(s) and appendices.

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The MSPE Machine has a lot of complex moving pieces and we have over 180 current graduates to assist through this important task so we really appreciate your cooperation with all of the instructions you’ll receive through this process.

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation is one component among many in your residency application. Here in UTCOM Office of Student Affairs we take a tremendous amount of pride in the final MSPE we produce and its ability to show all of our great students as accurately as possible so that you can move on to the next exciting stage of your professional journey!

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