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How an educational improvement project improved the summative evaluation of medical students
  1. K G Hoffman,
  2. R Margaret A Brown,
  3. J W Gay,
  4. L A Headrick
  1. University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri, USA
  1. Dr K Hoffman, Offices of Medical Education, MA213 Medical Science Building, Columbia, MO 65212, USA; hoffmank{at}


Background: At the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine (USA) “commitment to improving quality and safety in healthcare” is one of eight key characteristics set as goals for our graduates. As educators, commitment to continuous improvement in the educational experience has been modelled through improvement of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter (formerly the Dean’s letter).

Discussion: This educational improvement project decreased waste, increased collaboration and developed locally useful knowledge. By applying continuous improvement principles to the construction of the MSPE the overall efficiency of the process could be enhanced, and the MSPE committee was able to spend less cognitive energy on structure and format and focus more on the content of the letters. Four MSPE cycles have been completed using a new Web-based system; after each cycle, additional enhancements were identified and implemented. This work adds to the literature, as it describes the application of continuous improvement principles to an educational system.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by University of Missouri Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (project no 1053839).

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