School of Medicine

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)


The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter serves as a comprehensive summary letter for residency programs. It aims to provide an honest and objective overview of a student's relevant experiences, personal attributes, and academic performance throughout medical school. Residency program directors and selection committees rely on the MSPE letter as a standardized tool to objectively assess applicants, thus it is an essential element of the residency application.


Components of the MSPE


The Baylor College of Medicine MSPE letter complies with AAMC guidelines, and includes:

  • The student’s identifying information and previous academic history
  • Three noteworthy characteristics, drafted by the student, that showcases the unique characteristics of who they are
  • Special medical school awards and distinctions
  • Comments about leaves of absence, dual degree programs, pathways, and adverse actions
  • Narratives from each clinical rotation, and final grade for each rotation 
  • A final summative paragraph highlighting the student’s performance in medical school

How the MSPE is Prepared


The MSPE letter is typically prepared by the Student Affairs dean most familiar and has no conflicts of interest with the student or can be written by another faculty member if the student prefers.

The MSPE letter-writing process begins late in the student’s MS3 year or early in the MS4 year, several months before the deadline to submit into the ERAS system. To prepare the MSPE letter:

  1. The student meets with a Student Affairs dean to discuss their goals for residency, develop an application strategy, and review the elements of the MSPE letter.
  2. The student enters their three noteworthy characteristics in the MSPE student portal.
  3. The Student Affairs dean or preferred faculty member compiles the student’s history and writes summative paragraphs.
  4. The student is given an opportunity to review their letter, edit for clarification, and correct errors.
  5. The Office of Student Affairs uploads the student’s MSPE letters to their application in the ERAS system.

Appealing the MSPE Narrative


If a student is unhappy with the MSPE narrative, they can request a review by the Student Affairs deans who will review the challenged language within two business days of the student’s request. The student then has the right to submit a formal grievance with the decision through the Integrity Hotline/Ethics Point system in accordance with Student Appeals & Grievances Policy 23.1.08 (Baylor login required). Submitting a grievance allows for final resolution of the request to be determined through the formal institutional grievance policy.