The Department of Surgery will issue a final Clerkship grade as defined in the UAMS College of Medicine’s grading policy.  Four parameters are used to judge your performance during this clerkship.  The relative value of each of these parameters is shown in the following table

Relative Value (%)
Rotation Evaluation by faculty & residents 30
NBME Surgery Subject Examination 30
Oral Examination 20
Weekly Quiz 20


  • A letter grade of “A” will be assigned for those students whose cumulative average is > 90%;
  • A letter grade of “B” will be assigned for those students whose cumulative average is > 80, but less than 90;
  • A letter grade of “C” will be assigned for those students whose cumulative average is > 70, but less than 80;
  • A letter grade of “D” will be assigned for those students whose cumulative average is > 60, but less than 70;
  • A letter grade of “F” will be assigned for those students whose cumulative average is < 59;
  • Under unusual circumstances the department may issue the grade of “I” when work is incomplete at the end of the clerkship or academic year, including Qstream, Patient Log/Skills Checklist, etc.
  • Weighted averages that contain fractions will be rounded up to the next highest integer if the fraction is >0.5.

Rotation evaluation

Students will receive written evaluations by faculty and residents on the services to which they are assigned.  Each student will request a minimum of 3 evaluations per service – 2 faculty and 1 resident or intern – in O2 (Oasis).  You may request more but must have at least 6 evaluations for the 8 week Surgery rotation.

NBME Surgery Subject Exam

This is the standard “shelf” examination given by the National Board of Medical Examiners on the topics of surgery and surgical subspecialties.  The exam is very heavy in medicine questions, so these topics are recommended for the student to study as well.

Summative Oral Examination

This is a case-based oral exam designed to allow the student to demonstrate basic surgical knowledge and to analyze and solve selected clinical problems in surgery.  An assigned surgical faculty member will administer this exam, which is scheduled during the 7th or 8th weeks of the rotation.

Weekly Quiz

This is a 10 question multiple choice exam reflecting the assigned reading for the week.


An “F” grade will result if:

  • The student’s cumulative score for the rotation is 59% or less
  • The student scores less than a 56 on the NBME Shelf Exam (below the 5th percentile nationally and 1.5 standard deviations below the mean)
  • The student’s conduct inconsistent with the responsibility and accountability expected of physicians (i.e. dishonesty, repeated unexcused absences, repeated failure to complete assignments, serious and repeated disruptive behavior towards patients or colleagues).

The Department of Surgery reserves the right to modify the above criteria, providing that the minimum passing criteria will not be made more stringent.

Should a student receive a failing score on the NBME, that student will be allowed to continue on through the 3rd year clerkships, but will be required to retake the NBME exam.  If the student again scores less than 56 on the retake exam, the student will be required to repeat the surgery clerkship during the 4th year and again retake the NBME after completion of the rotation.  The final NBME score will be an average of the scores received on all final NBMEs taken.

Unless a student remains on formal leave from the University, all required portions of the clerkship (i.e. quizzes, NBME, checklists on paper, QStream, and O2) are to be completed and turned in no later than 2 weeks after the conclusion of the rotation.  If all materials are not received by this time, the student will receive a failing grade for the clerkship.

Questions or challenges regarding summative evaluations, examinations, or examination scores must be brought to the attention of the clerkship director or the clerkship coordinator in writing or by e-mail prior to the issuance of final grades.  Communication with other faculty members does not meet this requirement.  Requests for reconsideration of an assigned examination score received after the issuance of final grades cannot be honored.  Final grades will not be changed by the Department of Surgery except in the event of a clerical error.