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Assessment and Grading

Students are assessed on five components during the course: 

    • Clinical Team Assessment (50%)
    • Written Exam (20%)
    • Long Case Report (7.5%)
    • Informed Consent Thread (10%)
    • Student Presentation (7.5%)
    • Professionalism (5%)  

The Block Co-Directors use the combination of clinical assessment and cognitive assessment to assign the overall course grade.

  • Students should achieve Honors designation for the clinical assessment to qualify for a final grade of Honors. Students should achieve High Pass designation for the clinical assessment to qualify for a final grade of High Pass. A written exam minimum score above the mean is required in order to receive either honors or high pass.
  • Students receive a final composite evaluation which includes a breakdown of clinical and cognitive performance and summary evaluation comments.
  • Grade assignments will be distributed as up to 20% Honors and 20% High Pass.

Clinical Team Assessment 50%

Members of your clinical teams provide assessments and comments about your performance on the clinical rotations. These assessments reflect your ability to work effectively with peers, residents, staff, and patients. General surgery and anesthesia knowledge, as well as your ability to apply the knowledge to clinical problems, is evaluated. Tardiness and absences from your clinical rotations will affect how your evaluators assess your performance.
The overall clinical assessment is determined by several components: 
  • General Surgery: 60%
  • Anesthesia:  30% for students completing one week of  anesthesia and 35% for students completing two weeks of  anesthesia
  • Surgical Subspecialties:  5% for one subspecialty and 10% for two subspecialties
The course grading committee will determine the Clinical Team Assessment grade, using the assessments completed by your evaluators. The grades are:
  • H Student demonstrates advanced level of clinical performance and competency based on assessments of clinical course activities.
  • HP Student demonstrates above expected level of clinical performance and competency based on assessments of clinical course activities.
  • P Student demonstrates expected level of clinical performance and competency based on assessments of clinical course activities.
  • F Student does not demonstrate level of clinical performance and competency based on assessments of clinical course activities. 
Surgery faculty assessments will have more weight than those of residents.  Faculty assessments are 60 to 100% of the surgery grade; fellows/5th/4th residents are 30 to 80%; and mid-level/interns are 10 to 20%.  
The anesthesia grading committee, chaired by the anesthesiology clinical block director, reviews the anesthesia assessments and determines the final overall anesthesia grade. Final clinical performance grades of H/HP/P/F are determined by the committee. Anesthesia teaching faculty assessments will make up to 60-100% of the anesthesia grade, with resident assessments making up to 40% of the anesthesia grade.
The School of Medicine uses the RIME model of assessment. This assessment is designed to demonstrate a student's growth developmentally during the clinical years. Beginning third year students will fall in the range of Novice Reporter to Reporter stage. Students typically achieve the level of Interpreter to Novice Manager by the end of their 4th year.
Assessments are completed in New Innovations. Students set up the assessments and are responsible for following the evaluator selection guidelines. Please ask your evaluators and create the evaluations before you leave the rotation. List your evaluators on your evaluator list and turn in before the written exam.
Written Examination - 20% 
The written examination covers general surgery, anesthesia, and informed consent information.  None of the surgical subspecialty topics are included.  You will have two hours for the 100 question exam. The exam is scheduled the last Friday of the course following the standardized patient exercises.
Items to be turned in before the written exam:  
  • Anesthesia textbook  
Long Case Report - 7.5% 

The course directors grade the Long Case Report using the following criteria for a total of up to 7.5 points. An example is provided for illustration purposes; no portion of the example should be used in your report. This example is longer than the 2000 word limit but serves as a framework on which to base your report.

The Case Report should be modeled after a case report in a journal following specific criteria. Describe a challenging case scenario. Overall word count should not exceed 2000 words (excluding reference section).

Please note the number of words at the end of your document. Include:

1. Clinical findings at presentation

2. Key lab/radiology findings that support the diagnosis

3. Pre-anesthesia and pre-operative assessment/plan (may be combined or separate)

4. Succinct summary of key intraoperative and post-operative course (focus on aspects pertinent to case presentation)

5. Discussion should include between 3-6 pertinent educational points related to the case presented. This discussion should be fully supported by current literature, referenced as for a journal submission. See case report sample for reference format.

6. References

Roughly 1/3 total length should be devoted to points 1-4, with 2/3 devoted to Discussion.

Points will be assigned based on 1) Originality, 2) Adherence to word count limit, 3) Quality of discussion points, 4) Editorial factors including references/grammar/spelling, and 5) Overall effort.

Turn in the report by 11:00 p.m. on Monday of the last week of the block by e-mail to the course coordinators( AND

Student Presentation-7.5%

On Monday mornings, we will have 4-6 student presentations.  Total of 7.5 points.

  • Organization/Content (1.5)
      • No YouTube or other Web-based videos!
      • Please spell-check your slides
  • Accuracy of information (1.0)
  • Slide content and timing (1.0)
      • Not too busy
      • Not hard to understand
      • Timing of slides (don't show a busy or data rich slide and not let your audience have time to take it all in)
  • Public speaking skills (2.0)
      • Diction/pronunciation
      • Eye contact with audience
      • Engage your audience
  • Time utilization (1.0)
      • No more than 10 minutes
      • Q/A for up to five minutes 
Professionalism – 5% 
Participation and attendance are essential components of this course. Course activities requiring your attendance include but are not limited to:  
  • Orientation
  • Breast clinic at UCH, if assigned
  • Assigned time at Denver Health emergency room
  • Mid-course/end of course sessions with course directors with required logs and forms
  • Informed consent session
  • Simulations and standardized patient sessions at CAPE
  • Written exam 
Students are responsible for asking evaluators to evaluate them and creating the evaluations in New Innovations, as well as completing course & site evaluations and creating and completing evaluations of their evaluators.  
The informed consent paper, long case report, mid-course review form, anesthesia book, and competency log are expected to be turned in by the deadlines. Failure to follow attendance policies and meet deadlines can result in loss of points for professionalism.
  • H Student demonstrates advanced level of performance/competency in course requirements.
  • HP Student demonstrates above expected level of performance/competency in course requirements.
  • P Student demonstrates expected level of performance/competency in course requirements.
  • F Student does not demonstrate expected level of performance/competency in course requirements. 
  • PR Student demonstrates expected performance/competency in the course requirements after remediation.
  • IP Student is unable to or does not complete course requirements during time allotted for the course.
  • I Student is unable to complete requirements with a passing grade at the completion of the block.
School of Medicine policy limits the number of students awarded Honors and High Pass to no more than 50% over the academic year. 
Per School of Medicine policy, grades are not calculated for students who do not complete evaluator, course, and site evaluations. An IP grade will be recorded until the student completes evaluations of the course, site, and faculty and residents, due two weeks after the end of the course. 
All grades remain permanently on the student’s transcript except IP and I, which are replaced with the appropriate grade after the student has completed the course requirements.
GRADE REVIEW: After all grades are assigned for the academic year, the course directors and co-directors will meet in June 2014 to review grades for the past academic year to determine IF grades can be raised for some students. If you wish to have your grade reviewed, please email the course coordinators within thirty days after you receive your grade notification. Include any information you wish to be considered. This grade review is different and separate from the grade appeals process, covered in the next section below. Requesting a grade review does not constitute a formal grade appeal.
The School of Medicine is committed to the ideal of academic freedom and so recognizes that the assignment of grades is a faculty responsibility. The School also recognizes that students have the right to appeal a final grade or any other academic decision. The School of Medicine has a responsibility to respond to such an appeal in a judicious and timely manner.
Criteria for Appealing a Grade
A student may appeal a final Block or Course grade on the grounds that:
1.      The methods or criteria for evaluating academic or clinical performance, as stated in the Block/Course syllabus, were not applied in determining the final grade, and/or
2.      The faculty applied the grading criteria unfairly.
Any student wishing to appeal a grade must initiate the process within 30 calendar days of receiving the disputed grade. An appeal letter should be sent to the Course-Co Directors identifying the Course and the grade being appealed, stating the reason(s) for the appeal, and specifying the requested change. Students are encouraged to discuss the appeal informally with the Course-Co Directors before submitting a formal appeal.
The Course-Co Directors will meet with the student to discuss the appeal within 15 calendar days of receipt of the appeal letter. Before the meeting, the student should provide the Block/Course Director with copies of all materials pertinent to the appeal, such as the Block/Course syllabus, papers, tests, write-ups, etc.
If, after meeting with the student and consulting with faculty responsible for assigning the grade, the Course-Co Directors determine that a change of grade is warranted, then the Course Co-Directors will change the grade in a timely manner. If the Course Co-Directors determine that a change of grade is not warranted, they must notify the student within 5 calendar days.
The student may appeal the decision of the Course Co-Directors to the Assistant Dean of the Clinical Core, by forwarding copies of all correspondence related to the appeal to the appropriate Assistant Dean, Curriculum within seven calendar days of the Course Co-Directors ruling. The Assistant Dean, at his/her discretion, may meet with the student, the faculty, or the Course Directors, and may consult with the Course/Block Director Committee before making a ruling.
The student may make a final request to the Senior Associate Dean for Education for a review of due process. The decision of the Senior Associate Dean for Education is final.