The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

The MSPE (“Dean’s Letter”) is prepared for all senior students by the Associate or Assistant Dean for Clinical Education and Student Affairs. The document is a key part of the residency application packet.

If for any reason, a student believes that the Associate or Assistant Dean for Clinical Education and Student Affairs cannot prepare the letter in an unbiased manner, he or she may request that the letter be completed by another member of the Dean’s Office.

The document is a letter of evaluation, not a letter of recommendation. That is, it is intended to be a comprehensive summary of the student’s academic record through the first three years of medical school. The MSPE consists of the student’s progress until the MSPE is submitted on or around October 1st as dictated by the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). It is intended to present the student in the best possible light but also to convey accurate information to a residency program director about the student’s qualifications for graduate medical education.

Unique to Emory’s MSPE is inclusion of information written by the student’s Small Group Advisor. The MSPE is specialty-neutral and is written to include:

Identifying Information

  • Student’s name
  • Name and location of the medical school
  • Expected date of graduation Unique Characteristics
  • Family background
  • Undergraduate education
  • Gap years
  • Information about special considerations such as travel or activities before entering medical school, including any distinguishing characteristics exhibited by the student in medical school (e.g., demonstrated leadership and research abilities, participation in community service activities)

Academic History

  • Date of matriculation
  • Leave/interruption of medical education, if applicable (personal, medical, or educational)
  • Adverse academic action such as repeating a course/clerkship or repeating a year of school Academic Progress
  • Student performance in the preclinical curriculum
  • Student performance in the clinical clerkships and elective rotations completed to date
  • Performance on USMLE Step 1 and 2
  • Unique honors such as election to AOA Research/Scholarly Activities
  • PhD work
  • Discovery project

Community and Leadership Involvement Small Group Leader Comments


  • Strengths
  • Relative weaknesses
  • Summative assessment of the student’s comparative performance in medical school relative to his/her peers


All graduating medical students should make an appointment to meet with their MSPE writer between April and August of their senior year. Students should provide an up-to-date curriculum vita and complete the MSPE form in Oasis, which is required by the dean’s office prior to the scheduled meeting.

Students have the opportunity to review the MSPE for factual accuracy at two points in the MSPE process (after the first and final drafts). All reviews must be in-person. Students who will be out of town during September should notify their MSPE writer as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to have the letter completed before the student departs, so the student can review the content of the letter in person. For those students who are not able to review their MSPE in the office, they are encouraged to arrange a phone call in which the MSPE will be read to them by the Assistant or Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Student Affairs. The MSPE will not be transmitted electronically to students for review.

All MSPEs are transmitted on or around October 1 of each academic year. It should be noted that invitations for residency interviews are sometimes offered before the MSPE is uploaded into ERAS; therefore, it is important that students submit their applications and letters of recommendation in a timely manner.

Last modified: 7/19/2017