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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Assessment Policy for Clerkships & Electives (Phases 2 and 3)

Note: Required clerkships consist of the following: Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Pediatrics, Neurology, Primary Care (or an Education Centered Medical Home), Psychiatry; and the following required advanced clerkships: Sub-internship (Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery or Ob-Gyn), Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care (or Pediatrics ICU), and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Grades earned

Required clerkships are graded using honors, high pass, pass, and fail. Specific criteria for these grades have been established by each clerkship. Grades in the clerkships are based on a variety of assessments which may include but not be limited to, written and/or oral exams; faculty assessments of a student’s clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes; objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), professionalism points and/or a multi-source evaluation. Grading criteria for each clerkship will be reviewed during orientation and is posted online.

Policies and procedures regarding the NBME shelf exams in Phases 2 and 3 can be found on the Examination policy page.

Students who do not meet the clinical performance passing criteria by the end of a clerkship will be given extra time to achieve the passing criteria. If a passing grade can be achieved with additional clinical time, this will be designated as a final grade of Pass with the extra time noted on the transcript for that clerkship.

If a student is given additional time twice and is still unable to complete the clinical requirements of the clerkship, the final grade given will be fail and that student will appear before the Student Promotions Committee.

Four-week electives are graded using honors, pass, and fail.

Two-week selectives, which have no prerequisites, will not be graded, but are recorded as credit or no-credit. Students may only receive credit towards graduation requirements for 2 two-week selectives. Any additional selectives may be taken, but credit will not be granted.

Research elective credit can be granted for research lasting at least two weeks and up to twelve weeks, if the research is approved in advance and deemed meritorious by the Student Research Committee. Research electives will not be graded and are recorded as credit or no credit.

Mid-clerkship formative feedback

All required clerkships four weeks or longer in length are required to provide students with formative feedback at or around the mid-point of the clerkship. This feedback must include a review of the clerklog and the student’s progress completing all the required clinical experiences of the clerkship.

Related LCME Standard
9.4 Assessment System

Last Updated: 2/14/2019