Evaluation of Students
Evaluation is a key element in the patient care and academic progresses. Evaluative feedback is sought from all groups of participants and stakeholders in the clinic functions. Obviously, faculty, the ultimate evaluator in the academic setting, grades students. However, the clinical faculty member rates the clinical performance of each student. Frequent communication is encouraged between clinical faculty and students.
Faculty evaluations of students are performed at the end of each session in all Clinics, including externship sites, using the online evaluation management system, Meditrek (www.Meditrek.com). These evaluation results should be reviewed with the students, and must be submitted to Meditrek only after Instructor Evaluations by Students have been completed. These evaluations are used to provide an assessment of each third and fourth year student clinician’s clinical progress and development over the course of the session.
Student performance in Clinic is evaluated by the clinical instructors in basic dimensions: clinical competence, interpersonal approach, patient management, and growth parameters. These four areas are defined as follows:
Clinical CompetenceInterpersonal Approach
Integration of Instructor Feedback
Awareness of Strengths
Awareness of Limitations
Ability to manage difficult cases
Ability to direct own clinical learning
Ratings on these four areas are given periodically and discussed with the student. At the end of each session, students will be evaluated with a grade. Instructors can also provide a narrative discussing the student’s strengths and weaknesses.
The B grade is given to clinicians performing at the level expected of where they are in the program.
The Honors grade is given to clinicians who are exemplary and are performing at a level that exceeds current expectations of where they are in the program. When a 3rd year clinician has received two honor grades from two different instructors in two different clinics, they are considered an honors clinician and are eligible for the Honors Program. When in the Honors Program, these qualifying 3rd year clinicians have the opportunity to add 4th year clinics to their 3rd year schedule. In order for these additions to be approved by the Clinic Director, the clinician’s overall level of performance in clinic to date must be and continue to be above satisfactory.
When placed in a 4th year clinics, the clinician must attend these clinics in addition to and not in place of any 3rd year requirements. Honors students will perform at the fourth year level in patient care when in 4th year clinics and should be evaluated as if they were a 4th year clinician. If time permits during their 3rd year, an honor student may accumulate enough required 4th year in-house clinics to be able to do a fourth external rotation. The Clinic Director will determine eligibility for a fourth external rotation based on the number and variety of 4th year clinics attended and the performance evaluations from those clinics.
The I grade may be assigned if the student’s work is incomplete, due to circumstances beyond his or her control, but of passing quality (Regulation A201A). An instructor giving an I grade must, at the same time, formally specify the reason the “I” was given, the nature of the work to be completed, and the percentage of the grade to be based thereon. This must take the form of a written statement to the department chairman, and of a comment on the COURSE REPORT (Regulation A202D).
Remedial Help (B-). As soon as a student’s performance is recognized as being “not passing” (B-), the Clinic Director should be notified. That student may then be assigned additional Clinic. Thus this student will see more patients, receive the benefits of more instruction, and be exposed to a different instructor. If, as a result of the additional training, the student’s clinical ability improves, the student will then be passed; otherwise, a repeat of the clinic year will be required. This procedure is recommended for Primary Care Clinic and all the specialty clinics. A B-grade will usually jeopardize a student’s outreach schedule. Receiving a B- in one or more clinics may result in dismissal from clinic.
Additionally, students who receive a B- may be considered not ready to go on an externship rotation. If the faculty member feels this is the case, they should check off the box: Applicable only if overall grade is B- or lower: Consider holding student from outreach. Passing grades from individual Clinical Faculty do not guarantee that the student clinician’s performance, as a whole, will meet requirements for passing clinical courses (Optometry 430A, 430B, 430C, 440A, 440B, 440C, 441A, 441B, 441C, 450A, 450B, 452). For example: a pattern of marginal passes or persistent inadequacies in any area of evaluation will not be considered passing and additional clinic time may be assigned.
For externships 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 Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. Evaluation techniques used by faculty are continuously reviewed for effectiveness.
Clinical faculty not only rate each student independently but also rank each student assigned to them in relation to each other. This is done to provide a broader basis of comparison of student performance from instructor to instructor. The module ranking of our students is a very important part of the Clinic evaluation process. Students receiving passing scores from all their instructors, but still ranked at the lowest in their modules, will trigger an additional review process of their performance.