Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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At the end of each rotation, you will receive a written evaluation of your performance. While knowledge and clinical skill are important factors, integrity and interaction with staff and patients are equally, if not more, important. Each student should strive to show interest and knowledge outwardly without doing it at the expense of his or her colleagues.

The written evaluation is summarized by a grade of Failure, Marginal Pass, Good, Excellent, or High Honors, which appears on your transcript. A separate numerical grade will be listed on your transcript for your national shelf examination score. Currently, every third year rotation except for Family Medicine uses the NBME shelf examination. The raw two-digit score will be curved to reflect the class average. The written comments from your clerkship evaluation are also used in your Dean’s Letter that is sent to residency programs. Also sent to each residency program is a bar graph showing your grade for the clerkship in relation to the grade distribution for the remainder of the class.

Input on the written evaluation will come primarily from the house staff with which you work, including the residents and attendings. Ask for midterm feedback. Every rotation coordinator is instructed to give students midterm feedback but may forget or neglect to. Asking for feedback demonstrates initiative and the desire to achieve your best. Ask about areas where you can improve and address them in the second half of your rotation. Pay attention to the comments you receive. Residents tend to be rather insightful and it was not long ago that they were in your shoes. If you are having a difficult time during the rotation or if you feel that you are not being given fair treatment, it is much better to bring such concerns to the attention of the course coordinator or course liaison as soon as possible.

The written evaluations are important because the Dean's Office will use these comments in writing the Dean's Letter for residency programs. The Jefferson Dean's Letter is highly regarded because of its honesty in positive and negative comments. Don’t worry - one mediocre evaluation will not significantly impact your letter.

If you feel that you have received an unfair evaluation, you may appeal with the clerkship coordinator, then the departmental chairperson and, finally, the Dean's Office. Appeal can only be made before signing the evaluation. Your grade may be changed if cause can be demonstrated.