WAUSM Assessments

WAUSM Assessments

Last updated: July 14th, 2022 at 10:24 am


In the majority of WAUSM courses and clerkships, a narrative description of student performance will be completed by faculty. Narrative comments will be provided to students for their review in a timely manner and will be a part of the student’s permanent file. Clerkship grading narratives are included verbatim in the MSPE/Dean’s Letter.


Most written examinations are conducted as web-based objective examinations, using secure questions; examination questions will not be available for study before or after exams. Examinations are timed and proctored, and students take them using either software from Canvas for local formative and internal summative exams or on laptops/PCs with wired connections linked only to servers at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) for Customized Assessment Service (CAS) final exams (and other exams).

Students have opportunities to raise concerns about exams or ask specific questions by contacting the course, unit, or clerkship director. The grade manager will notify students of exam results within 24-48 hours of score retrieval.

Course, unit, and clerkship directors are expected to use a variety of performance measures in addition to the secure, web-administered, objective exams. The performance measures and percentage contribution to the final grade in each unit, course, or clerkship is described in the syllabus.

To the degree possible, exams for concurrent courses will be scheduled so that exams do not compete with other learning activities.


Throughout the courses, and clerkships in all 10 semesters of medical school, students are provided with regular, formative feedback on their performance. This feedback takes the form of narrative feedback by faculty and peers and a range of other assessments, such as practice tests on course content. Course, and clerkship directors are expected to ensure structured formative feedback to students early enough to allow sufficient time for remediation.

The NBME Comprehensive Basic Science is administered during the end of the pre-clerkship curriculum (end of semester 5). It is a required exam and will be part of students’ 5th semester. Aside from formulating the semester 5 grade, the purpose of this exam is for students to self-assess their preparation and guide their study for the USMLE Step 1 exam.


Assessments in and promotions through the academic program of WAUSM are expected to be made fairly, impartially, and without bias.

A conflict of interest is present if the faculty member has or has had a treatment relationship with the student or has, or has had, a close personal or familial relationship with the student.

Examples of situations where the faculty would be considered to have, or have the future potential for, academic or professional influence include, but are not limited to:

a. Faculty supervisors and collaborators on a trainee’s research or scholarly project

b. Faculty teaching a course in which the trainee is enrolled, regardless of whether the faculty and trainee are in the same school, department, or program

c. Faculty serving as the student’s mentor

d. Faculty or staff who would normally be expected to provide regular formal evaluation of a trainee’s performance, such as an attending physician in a field closely related to the trainee’s

Students have the obligation to avoid small groups, preceptor assignments, clinical sites, as well as specific clerkships and elective rotations where evaluating faculty members have a close or personal relationship with the student.

Procedure for medical students with a prior or ongoing relationship with a faculty member or resident physician:

a. In the case that a medical student is assigned to work with a faculty member or resident physician with whom they have had a prior or ongoing professional care provider relationship or close personal relationship, either party must request that the student be granted an immediate change of assignment without fear of reprisal for this request.

b. The medical student should contact the SADSA, who will facilitate an immediate reassignment for the student.

c. The faculty member should contact the SADSA, who will alert the course, unit, or clerkship director immediately about the need to change the assignments and to ensure that the faculty member will have no influence on the assessment or determination of the grade of the medical student.

d. The resident physician should contact the SADSA, who will contact the residency program directly to inform them of the relationship.

e. The SADSA shall also alert the clerkship director immediately about the need to change the assignments to ensure that the resident will have no influence on the assessment or determination of the grade of the medical student.

Final schedules and assignments remain at the discretion of WAUSM.

As soon as a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest is recognized, faculty members participating in the student assessment process shall recuse themselves from both assessment of the student in courses, units or clerkships and any discussion of and voting involving the student. In addition, Student Progress Committee (SPC) members must identify as early as possible any situation that could reasonably call into question the judgment of the member.

Faculty members shall bring any conflict to the attention of the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs (SADSA) as soon as they become aware of the situation.

Generally, a conflict is considered resolved when:

a. The faculty member recuses themselves from an assessment role or proceedings involving the student before the SPC, or

b. The faculty member is substituted with an impartial faculty member, or

c. The student is reassigning to an appropriate alternative experience.

The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs will determine whether additional steps should be taken to manage the potential conflict.



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