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 has been standardized across medical schools to include six sections that include the following:

  • Identifying information
  • Noteworthy characteristics (total of 3)
    • Written by student and edited by the letter writer (Associate or Assistant Dean)
  • Academic history – date of matriculation and leave/interruption of medical education (if applicable)
  • Academic progress – which includes student performance on USMLE Step 1 and 2, Foundations and Application phases, the Discovery phase of the curriculum (unique to Emory), and small group advisor comments
    • Of note, a bar graph of the cumulative GPA for the Application phase is included with letter
  • Summary
  • Medical school information

View additional information on the MSPE.


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, and done in the Office of the Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Student Affairs. 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: 7/28/2018

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