Evaluation and Assessment

The Nine Abilities constitute a competency-based curriculum that defines the knowledge, skills and personal and professional values we expect of all of our graduates. The Nine Abilities translate into observable behaviors that students must demonstrate over the course of their medical education.

  The Nine Abilities
  IMS Doctoring Core Clerkships * Clinical Electives * Scholarly Concentration
Ability I: Effective Communication x x x x x
Ability II: Basic Clinical Skills   x x x
Ability III: Using Basic Science in the Practice of Medicine  x   x x x
Ability IV: Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment  x x x x
Ability V: Lifelong Learning  x x x x x
Ability VI: Professionalism  x  x x x x
Ability VII: Population Health and Advocacy  x  x x x x
Ability VIII: Moral Reasoning and Clinical Ethics   x x x x
Ability IX: Clinical Decision Making  x x x x

* Not all abilities are addressed in each clinical elective or scholarly concentration.

How are students evaluated?

Students are evaluated in the Nine Abilities by multiple methods of assessment: Written exams and participation in problem-based learning small-group sessions are the principal assessment methods in preclinical basic science courses. National standardized subject-based exams are also used in a number of core clerkships to assess student’s clinical knowledge base.  

In Doctoring and all of the core clerkships performance-based methods of assessment are employed such as Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Students are also directly observed by attendings, residents, and nurses, interviewing patients or completing a physical examination in the clinical setting. Students’ oral skills are assessed in presenting the patient to a physician and on their write ups of patient encounters in the clinic setting in both Doctoring and the core clerkships.