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Evaluation of Students

Evaluation is a key element in patient care and academic progress. Frequent communication is encouraged between clinical faculty and students.  Health Science Faculty provide ongoing feedback as well as a written and in-person evaluation at the end of the clinical session (there are two clinical sessions per semester). Third year students will typically rotate through three to four separate clinical services each session; therefore their semester grade is based on input from six to eight faculty members.  Fourth year students on five days per week external rotations may only receive one faculty evaluation, however there is significant continuity and a high volume of patient encounters with that faculty member.  Fourth year students may receive input from up to six to eight faculty members on their internal rotations. Faculty evaluations are submitted using the online evaluation management system, Meditrek: www.Meditrek.com.

The Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs (ADCA) reviews all faculty evaluations after each clinical session and assigns a final semester grade to all optometry students. The final grade assigned by the ADCA may not be the average of all grades submitted by faculty as they consider weighting (eg: primary care vs. eyewear center), module rankings, and faculty narratives. Struggling students will be offered extra support at any time that they are identified as struggling during the session.  

Student performance in Clinic is evaluated by the faculty member in a number of categories: clinical competence, interpersonal approach, patient management, and growth parameters. These three areas are defined as follows:

I. Clinical Competence

A. Skills

  1. Chief complaint / Record and analyze history
  2. Observation / Instrument skills
  3. Visual analysis / Refraction
  4. Specialty skills (CL, BV, IT, etc.)
  5. Record keeping / Documentation
  6. Examination / Evaluation skills

B. Knowledge/Integration

  1. Efficiency
  2. Analytic skills
  3. Problem-focused exams
  4. Primary care knowledge base
  5. Specialty skill knowledge
  6. Auxiliary testing
  7. Differential diagnosis
  8. Arrives at appropriate diagnosis

C. Treatment & Advice/Case Management

  1. Addresses chief complaint
  2. Formulates rational treatment and management plan
  3. Understands implications of treatment and management options
  4. Aware of optometry’s role as well as that of other health professions to address the needs of diverse patients
  5. Provides preventative care, patient education, and counseling
  6. Appropriate follow-up

II. Interpersonal Approach

A. Professionalism/Attitude

  1. Applies professional, ethical, legal, public health, and DEIB principles to optometric care
  2. Professional integrity
  3. Self-initiative
  4. Participation
  5. Work ethic
  6. Punctuality
  7. Enthusiasm
  8. Faculty interaction
  9. Dress

B. Patient Management

  1. Culturally competent oral and  written communication with patients and other professionals
  2. Compassion
  3. Patient rapport
  4. Assesses and addresses health care needs of patients and diverse populations being served
  5. Utilizes referrals and consultations with other health professionals

III. Growth Parameters

  1.  Integration of instructor feedback
  2.  Aware of strengths
  3. Aware of limitations
  4. Flexibility
  5. Improvement
  6. Ability to manage difficult cases
  7. Ability to direct own clinical learning

Grading

At the end of each session, students will receive a letter grade in each of the three areas above. Faculty should also provide a narrative discussing the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

The B+ grade indicates that a clinician is meeting expectations efficiently and consistently based on the level of clinical competency expected at that point in the clinical training progression.  

The letter grades are defined as follows: 

A+: Top 5% of the class

A: Significantly exceeds expectations

A-: Exceeds expectations

B+: Efficiently and Consistently Meets Expectations

B: Meets expectations, lacks efficiency and consistency

B-: Does not meet a few minimum expectations

C+: Does not meet most minimum expectations 

C: Does not meet many minimum expectations

C-: Does not meet most minimum expectations

D: Very poor: may still advance

F: Failure: needs significant retraining to advance

The Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned if the student’s work is incomplete due to circumstances beyond their control, but of passing quality. An instructor giving an “I” grade must specify the reason the “I” was given, the work to be completed, and the grade the student has earned up to that point to the ADCA. 

Remediation: If a student’s performance is concerning at any point, and preferably as early in the term as possible, the ADCA should be notified, so that additional support measures can be implemented. This procedure is recommended for Primary Care and specialty clinics. A faculty member may indicate, separate from the grade, that they feel the intern is not ready to proceed to an external rotation by checking the box on the Meditrek evaluation form “consider holding student from outreach.” A grade of B- or a recommendation by a faculty member(s) to hold a student from outreach may prompt the ADCA to change a student’s externship schedule to provide more time for the student to improve their performance before undertaking the additional rigor of an externship. 

A student must successfully pass all individual clinical assignments during a session. For example, a student who receives passing grades in most of their clinics, but receives a grade of D or F in one clinic may be required to repeat that assignment in order to successfully pass the semester. The ADCA in consultation with the Academic Advisory Committee decides the clinical academic plan for the student. The ADCA will attempt to schedule the student to retake the failed clinic during the semester. However, depending on the student’s externship schedule, current teaching ratios, and clinic availability, it is likely that the student will have to register and pay tuition for summer clinic after their fourth year in order to successfully pass that clinic and satisfy the requirements of the Doctor of Optometry degree.

Attendance: Internal clinics keep track of attendance using the Meditrek system. 

For externship clinics, at the end of an external rotation, the externship faculty member will submit an attendance verification on the student evaluation on Meditrek, assuring that an intern attended at least 90% of the clinic days scheduled for a particular session. An intern who fails to attend at least 90% of the scheduled days at an externship clinic will be subject to receiving a final grade of Incomplete (“I”) for the externship, at the discretion of the ADCA. The ADCA will communicate in writing to the student how to satisfy the requirement to receive their final grade based on how many days were missed, the performance of the student on days they were in clinic, and the faculty narrative. Significant absenteeism may result in the requirement to repeat the externship which will delay the student’s graduation and incur additional tuition. 

Sample of Meditrek Instructor Evaluation

View a sample evaluation form here.

Module Ranking (for UC Berkeley clinics)

Clinical faculty not only rate each student independently but also rank each student assigned to them in relation to each other during each session. This ranking is not communicated to the student, but is uploaded to the Meditrek system which generates an overall class ranking. This is done to provide a broader basis of comparison of student performance from instructor to instructor. Students receiving passing scores from all their instructors, but still consistently ranked lower in their modules, will trigger an additional review process of their performance. Only the ADCA is able to view the entire class ranking and it is not communicated to students nor faculty members.