A guiding principle of the School of Medicine is that assessment drives learning. To this end, the school has incorporated into the educational program a competency-based assessment system that includes numerous opportunities for an ongoing cycle of observation, feedback, and assessment of each student's developmental progress in achieving the educational program's explicit objectives and competencies. The overriding goal of the school's comprehensive assessment system is to assist students in becoming reflective practitioners of medicine who embrace lifelong learning opportunities and complement them with a critical approach to self-assessment and self-improvement.
Reflection, Integration, and Assessment, or RIA, Weeks
In keeping with the School’s philosophy that assessment drives learning, RIA weeks devoted to Reflection, Integration, and Assessment are included regularly throughout the curriculum. These RIA weeks occur at the end of every vertical course during the First 100 Weeks and at the end of every 12-week cycle during the third year.
The majority of formative and summative assessment occurs within the span of these weeks. During the first two years, students complete summative short answer essay exams, a summative Structure practical, formative multiple choice questions, and they participate in a variety of standardized and simulated clinical encounters. The diagram below depicts the structure of an RIA week during the First 100 Weeks.
Highlights of the simulation and clinical skills assessment include:
• A longitudinal, developmentally appropriate clinical encounter station
• Focused communication stations
• Focused physical examination stations
• Team simulation station
During the Second 100 Weeks, RIA week assessments include short answer essay, oral and shelf exams, as well as simulations and standardized patient encounters. This comprehensive assessment process allows the School to determine mastery of milestones in each competency by the end of the four-year curriculum and at multiple intervals throughout.