3. MSPE Letter Process

The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter, previously known as the Dean's Letter, is a sequential and objective evaluation of a medical student's academic performance throughout medical school. This document is very important to students and their residency programs, and as such, a great deal of work goes into writing the MSPE in liaison with a number of different departments across the University and School. All U.S. medical schools write MSPEs for each graduating student. It is a required part of every U.S. residency application. The MSPE is a permanent record and used in perpetuity. It is not just used for residency applications, it is also used if a graduate applies for a second residency, a postresidency fellowship, and sometimes required for recredentialing years after graduating. 

The MSPE has a standardized format set by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It presents an honest evaluation of your performance in medical school and your assets for residency application. It includes summative comments as they appear in clerkship evaluations. Any serious academic difficulties, disciplinary/professionalism issues, or gaps in attendance must be explained in the MSPE. Students are allowed to review their own MSPE before it is uploaded to ERAS. Students may request changes only to correct factual errors, punctuation, etc. As a UQ Ochsner student, the MSPE structure is the same as all US medical schools, except for the introductory paragraph which explains the partnership between UQ and Ochsner.

Summary Statement:  As part of the standardized format, the MSPE has a summary section which includes a summative assessment of students' comparative performance in medical school, relative to peers, in differentiating among levels of student performance. Although The University of Queensland is a nonranking institution, students are clustered by quartile based on performance from their preclinical and core clinical clerkship grades. The categories are: Superior, Outstanding, Excellent, and Very Good. Only grades from Years 1 through 3 are used in determining the cluster category included in the MSPE summary statement. Year 4 grades are not included in the cluster statement because of differences in student schedules and the relative weights of the clerkships.

MSPE Contents
  • Noteworthy characteristics
  • Pre-clinical narrative and grades
  • Grades and CPA comments from Year 3 - each clinical rotation
  • Optional elective (if applicable)
  • Grades and CPA comments for Rotations 1 - 3 of Year 4
  • Rotations 4 & 5 are listed - grades and CPA comments are added later as received
  • Required appendices

MSPE Meeting & Process

Beginning in June, students are scheduled at random to meet with their Medical Society Heads. Calendar appointments will be sent to students' Ochsner email accounts. Additionally, the date and time of a student's MSPE meeting will be listed in the Personnel Data Profile section in each student's New Innovations record. A great deal of work goes into scheduling the meetings as each student's rotation schedule and the available appointment slots are taken into consideration. Because of this, schedule changes are not allowed. 

Prior to the MSPE meeting:

During the MSPE meeting:

  • Students must bring a draft of their Noteworthy Characteristics to their MSPE meeting to review with their Society Head.
    • Noteworthy Characteristics Guidelines: Students should prepare 6 noteworthy characteristics for their MSPE meeting. During the meeting, the Society Head and student will discuss these to ultimately determine 3 characteristics that will go into the MSPE.
    • It must be a bulleted list with each characteristic described in 2 sentences or less.
  • Students will review their MSPE and their Society Head will provide feedback on their personal statement and CV.

After the MSPE meeting:

  • The Society Head will submit the student's final Noteworthy Characteristics to Ochsner Student Affairs. 
  • The student should submit any updated versions of their personal statement and CV to StudentAffairs@ochsner.org for their files.


Ochsner Clinical School


For all enquiries regarding the Ochsner Clinical School, please contact the Ochsner Clinical School Administrative Offices in New Orleans:

Phone: +1 504 842 4780
Email: OchsnerClinicalSchool@ochsner.org