Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) is a comprehensive assessment of your performance in achieving the educational objectives of our medical school curriculum. It is neither a letter of recommendation nor VTCSOM's prediction of your future performance in a residency program.

The MSPE describe your performances through three full years of medical school and part of your fourth year.  It is transmitted to the residency programs to which you apply during your senior year.

"Final authority for composing the MSPE, as an institutional assessment composed on behalf of the medical school faculty, should rest with a professional person, at the faculty level in the institution, who has access to all relevant evaluation data for all students. Ideally, the process by which the MSPE is composed should include a personal meeting with each student." - AAMC

Contents of the MSPE

Identifiying information

Unique Characteristics

  • Information about special considerations, including any distinguishing characteristics exhibited by the student in medical school (e.g., demonstrated leadership and research abilities, participation in community service activities).
  • Information about any significant challenges or hardships encountered by the student during medical school.

Academic History

  • The month and year of the student’s initial matriculation in, and expected graduation from, medical school.
  • An explanation, based on school-specific policies, of any extensions, leave(s) of absence, gap(s), or break(s) in the student’s educational program.
  • Information about the student’s prior, current, or expected enrollment in, and the month and year of the student’s expected graduation from, dual, joint, or combined degree programs.
  • Information, based upon school-specific policies, of coursework that the student was required to repeat or otherwise remediate during the student’s medical education.
  • Information, based on school-specific policies, of any adverse action(s) imposed on the student by the medical school or its parent institution.
  • Narrative information regarding the student’s overall (rather than course specific) performance in the preclinical/basic science curriculum.
  • Narrative information regarding the student’s overall performance on each core clinical clerkship and elective rotation completed to date, with a focus on summative, rather than formative, comments by clerkship/elective directors. This information should be provided in the chronological order in which the student completed each core clinical clerkship and elective rotation. Information should be provided about the location of any “away” elective rotations.
  • Narrative information about the student’s level of initiative, enthusiasm, and ability to self-start in all curricular components. 
  • An assessment of the student’s compatibility with faculty members, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients during all curricular components.


The Summary section includes a summative assessment, based upon the school’s evaluation system, of the student’s comparative performance in medical school, relative to his/her peers, including information about any school-specific categories used in differentiating among levels of student performance.


  • Cover letter
  • Appendix A - Description of Letters of Distinction with distribution table
  • Appendix B - VTCSOM Information page

Your Input

  • Select the author. Unless you request otherwise, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will be the author.
  • Provide a draft of the Unique Characteristics section.
  • Meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • Review the MSPE for accuracy prior to its being uploaded into the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®).