Pre-Clerkship Assessments


Weekly Essay Questions: Synthesis Essay Questions (SEQs). Weekly, formative, open book concept reasoning exercises in which students are given a brief written clinical scenario and asked to explain a clinical phenomenon and its basic science underpinnings. Throughout a teaching block, students complete SEQs at the end of each week. They then compare their answers to an ideal answer template as well as get feedback on their reasoning ability from their IQ group facilitator.

NBME Practice Test-Cumulative Achievement Tests (CAT). At the end of each block, students complete a secure formative MCQ achievement test, based on content covered in the current teaching block as well as on content from each previous block. These exams are designed, utilizing test question resources available through the NBME. Tests become progressively longer throughout the Foundations of Medicine and Health. The final CAT reflects material across all curriculum blocks. These formative tests are for student use only, and enable students to gain perspective on their overall progress and preparedness for the USMLE.

Assessment of students' participation in weekly Case Inquiry (IQ) groups by faculty facilitators, utilizing observable behavior anchors and focusing on 1) contributions to the group content and process, 2) critical appraisal of resources, and 3) professional behaviors.

End-of-block Assessment: Summative Synthesis Essay Questions (SSEQs) are exercises that measure what students know at the end of each block in the Foundations of Medicine and Health. They are closed book exercises with approximately 5 clinical scenarios and accompanying questions and take 3-4 hours to complete. These SSEQs are similar in format to the synthesis essays students have done in an open book fashion throughout the block. These summative exercises are scheduled at the end of each large teaching module (every 3-4 months) and are graded by the faculty who are content specialists.

Practical Examinations: These assessments occur in the final week of blocks 2-6 and integrate anatomy, histo-pathology and radiology through clinical scenarios and questions that ask for anatomic localization and histo-pathologic identification.

Professional Learning Plan: At the midpoint of each block students reflect on their learning, identifying their strengths and areas for further study. A quality improvement template (in the form of the plan-do-study-act cycle) is completed at the end of the block students meet in societies to assess their success and barriers in carrying out their quality improvement plans.

Portfolios: The WR2 curriculum is a competency-based curriculum with 9 core competencies. Students submit portfolios with reflective essays to demonstrate that they have met the target achievement levels as they progress through the WR2 curriculum. Portfolios are submitted at the end of year 1, just prior to the start of core clinical rotations and in the fourth year.


End-of-Year 1 Clinical Skills Examine (CSE):

The Year 1 CSE is the culmination of the Year 1 clinical curriculum. It is intended to provide an opportunity for students to get specific feedback on the clinical skills they have learned during the first year of the curriculum and is used to assess the student's strengths and weaknesses clinically. Although formative, students who show significant deficiencies will be expected to remediate their weaker skills before continuing on to Year 2. The exam consists of the Year 1 student interviewing and doing an examination on a standardized patient. The preceptor observes student's performance outside the exam room completes an assessment of the student's skills and then provides verbal feedback to the student after the patient encounter.

Assessment of Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) programs below culminating in the End of Year 2 Summative CSE.

Tuesday Seminars: Assessment of students' participation in weekly Tuesday Seminar groups by faculty preceptors, utilizing observable behavior anchors and focusing on 1) contributions to the group content and process, 2) professional behaviors;

Communication Workshop: Direct preceptor observation of skills and assessment of student self-reflections on workshop performance.

Physical Diagnosis (PD): PD1: Direct preceptor observation of skills and assessment of assignments and PD1 Mini CSE performance. PD2 and PD3: Direct preceptor observation of skills and assessment of assignments.

Patient-Based Programs: Direct preceptor observation of skills and assessment of assignments.

End of Year 2 Summative CSE:

Year 2 Summative CSE is a comprehensive assessment of student's clinical skills (communication, physical diagnosis, presentations, and clinical reasoning). The CSE is a five hour, four station exam. Students must pass the exam in order to move on to third year rotations. If a student fails, they will be required to remediate and pass the remediation exam before continuing. In addition to the exam itself, the CSE process includes self-reflection done in three stages so that students have the opportunity to reflect on their pre-CSE clinical skills, their skills during the exam (by viewing CSE videos and receiving feedback from a small group of fellow students and a faculty preceptor), and after the exam by completing a second essay on Patient Care due the day after their scheduled CSE.