Medical students cheer at Commencement

Grading & Assessments

Positive Outcomes

Core competencies drive your learning, evaluation and progress.

Medical school is challenging. At Michigan, we make sure it is so that you graduate not only as a well-prepared doctor, but also as a future leader in medicine. While you are here, we want you to focus on understanding and applying everything you learn.

You’ll find:

  • A collegial, collaborative environment
  • Approachable faculty who are happy to answer your questions
  • Peers who share information and study with each other to achieve their highest potential
  • Clearly defined competencies and expectations that align with national and institutional standards
  • Data-driven changes to the curriculum based on internal and external assessments

Eight Core Competencies

By graduation, you will master eight competencies that drive your progress through our program. Six of these are national standards that align directly with what is expected in residency, and two more* are specific to Michigan.

The Big 8:

  1. Medical knowledge
  2. Patient care
  3. Communication
  4. Professionalism
  5. Practice-based learning and improvement
  6. Systems-based practice
  7. Leadership & teamwork*
  8. Critical thinking & discovery*

People sometimes think of Leader with the big ‘L’ as somebody telling other people what to do. Our model is much more about how to be a team member and lead a project as a leader with a little ‘l.’ We’re creating team players who will change the world.

Sally Santen, MD, PhD, Assistant Dean for Educational Research and Quality Improvement and Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine and Medical Education

Assessments

Our assessment of your progress includes both cognitive and non-cognitive components. You will be evaluated in a several ways:

  • Observation
  • Clinical skills examinations
  • Tests of knowledge and clinical reasoning skills

Professional characteristics essential to the practice of medicine are also considered in the evaluation process. Students collaborate with faculty mentors to develop and modify individualized learning plans that map out training goals and expectations.

During the science and clinical foundation courses, students are assessed via frequent integrated quizzes and exams at the end of each course. Additionally, students receive narrative feedback on performance and areas to develop in the Doctoring Course from their small-group faculty. Coaching faculty help students process feedback from the domains of the curriculum (e.g. cardiovascular, leadership, anatomy) to help guide improvement.

During clinical segments, students are assessed on dimensions of knowledge; patient care; communication; professionalism; leadership teamwork and interprofessional collaboration; practice-based learning and improvement; and critical thinking and discovery. Feedback is given at regular intervals and includes comments from faculty and residents with whom the students worked.

Grading Scheme (for 2016 Matriculants)

  • Basic Science Trunk/M1: Satisfactory/Fail
  • Clinical Trunk/M2:
    • Transition = Satisfactory/Fail
    • Clerkships = Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail and Competency-based Assessments
  • Branches/M3 & M4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail and Competency-based Assessments

Michigan Leadership CV

Within the leadership curriculum, self-reflection and one-on-one coaching meetings are required biannually to assess progress in leadership milestones. The Michigan Leadership CV is a novel tool that addresses our specific competencies and milestones. The CV provides:

  • Quantitative and qualitative assessments of leadership growth
  • Infrastructure for reflection tied directly to competencies
  • Discussion prompts for coaching and longitudinal feedback

Honor Code

All students sign the Honor Code before starting their first class. The Honor Code was developed by students and faculty, and clearly outlines the expectations and details of the high ethical standards students hold themselves to as members, and future ambassadors, of the Michigan community. Read the Honor Code in its entirety.