As part of the Student Progress Committee’s operating guidelines, the Committee has approved a process for providing advanced information to course chairs and/or clerkship directors on students who have had significant difficulty in coursework or in areas of professional and personal conduct. The following guidelines are used when providing information in advance of the student beginning the course or clerkship:
The Student Progress Committee approves the use of the advanced information process when the student has had significant difficulty in prior coursework. This difficulty may be in any area(s) of evaluation, i.e. cognitive and/or non-cognitive. The two major objectives for using the advanced information process are: (1) to provide the student with additional support and help in the area(s) of deficiency as appropriate and (2) to ensure that there is adequate feedback to the student and evaluation of the area(s) of concern.
Having the information prior to the beginning of the course or clerkship, the course chair or clerkship director can use discretion in making small group or tutor assignments (predominantly for basic science courses) or for selecting the team or hospital site to which the student is assigned (predominantly for clinical clerkships or electives). The advanced information also allows the course chair or clerkship director to directly handle situations that may arise during the course or clerkship should the faculty, teaching assistants, or residents identify a problem early.
To reduce the possibility of negative bias, the information on the student’s record is sent only to the course chair or clerkship director and not to the individual faculty member and teaching assistant or attending and resident team to which the student is assigned. It is anticipated that the course chair or clerkship coordinator will check discreetly with the appropriate individuals at an appropriate interval after the course has begun to see whether any problems have arisen. As needed, the course chair or clerkship coordinator will speak to the Chair of the Student Progress Committee about the student’s progress.
The student is advised when the advanced information process is being used, and receives a copy of the information sent by the Chair of the Student Progress Committee to the course chair or clerkship director describing the process and the area(s) of deficiency or concern. The student is also advised to contact the course chair or clerkship director prior to the beginning of the course in order to establish a contact with whom to discuss issues of concern and to agree upon a mechanism for dealing with problems should they arise.
The Student Progress Committee has also authorized the Chair of the Committee to use discretion in providing information to course chairs or clerkship directors at a lower threshold of difficulty to provide earlier intervention to assist the student. The College mentor may also serve as a helpful resource to the course chair or clerkship director should issues arise in communications at the mentor – clerkship director level. Clerkship directors who are aware of a student having difficulty in their clerkship may, with the student’s permission, provide advanced information to the clerkship director of the next clerkship to which the student is assigned. The intent of this extended use of advanced information is to permit earlier intervention and assistance for students having difficulty and/or to allow for better decisions on small group or clinical site or team assignments that may provide a better learning environment for the student.