Residency Career Advising
MSPE Noteworthy Characteristics Worksheet
Complete this worksheet and bring it to your mandatory Career Advising session
Your Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE), the formal letter of evaluation that assesses students’ academic
performance and professional attributes that all medical schools are required to submit with residency applications,
contains a Noteworthy Characteristics section. This section is made up of three personalized statements that describe key
distinctions of your application.
You should have an NCs section that not only spells out what your accomplishments and experiences are but also is
intriguing enough that a Program Director can't help but keep reading your application to lea
rn more about you, and look
forward to finding out more in person.
Noteworthy Characteristics are defined as; personal attributes, experiences, and accomplishments supported by
verifiable information and summative evaluations. SHOW, don't just tell!
Consider the NCs as HEADLINES for the ERAS application, ie. items that you want the Program Director to be sure to
Explanation of difficulties and lengthy biographical descriptions are not recommended due to the time required for
review and because these details can be found in other sections of the application.
Think about expressing a larger concept or accomplishment and highlighting evidence; it’s OK to be creative and think
beyond just listing things from your CV.
Make sure that your characteristics are organized and tell a story.
You should present as much information as possible in the space allowed. The more specific, the better.
All NCs should be written in the third-person, past tense no “I” statements.
While in most cases NCs will be related to your experiences in medical school, if you have had a major life event or
experience prior to medical school that you might want to share, you may include it.
Know your audience! Program Directors are looking for professional achievements. Getting married or having
children is not relevant here. The same applies to your involvement in church, you should not include it unless you can
claim it as Community Service and have tangible evidence of your involvement.
Reach out to your peers and ask them to review your NCs before submitting them. Allow time for review and rewrite.
1. As a son of parents who emigrated from Vietnam, Mr. Lam is a first-generation college graduate as well as the first person
in his family to go to medical school. At a young age, he was taught the importance of helping others in need and giving
back to his community as evidence by his involvement in Project C.U.R.E,
Habitat for Humanity, and CoachArt
2. Mr. Anderson has continuously worked to improve his leadership, communication, and teamwork skills; working as a raft
guide, attending the National Outdoor Leadership School, and serving as president and treasurer of his Outdoor Club in
at Oberlin College. Most recently, Mr. Anderson organized and rowed an eighteen-day expedition down the Grand
Canyon after his first year of medical school, his third such trip in four years.
3. Ms. Leith traveled alone to Ilumán, Ecuador during her 3rd year of medical school to live with an indigenous family,
volunteer at a rural health clinic, and participate in health education in an indigenous, medically underserved community.
She also used this time to solidify her medical and conversational Spanish language skills, and is able to conduct a
patient interview in Spanish.
4. Based on her high academic achievement and dedication to research, Ms. Glaze was selected to participate in the
Physician-Scientist Honors Track – an elective at RVUCOM that consists of additional, specialized training related to
research. She is currently the lead research coordinator on an international, clinical follow-up study sponsored by Abbott
Laboratories with principal investigator and neurosurgeon, Dr. David VanSickle.
5. Ms. Lee used her voice to help raise over $7,000 to benefit survivors of domestic violence. As a cast member of the
medical student production of “ The Vagina Monologues” for the past two years, she dedicated many hours to rehearsals
and five performances in order to benefit The Denver Safehouse.
6. Mr. Jordan Heser took part in various clinical and educational research projects at the university. He initiated an original
research project on exercise prescription that took 1st place at the Rocky Vista University Research Appreciation Day oral
presentation competition and 3rd place at the American Academy of Osteopathy national poster competition for original
worksheet on back
Things to consider:
Achievements in research
Activities to address healthcare disparities
Leadership in student organizations
Community service
Honors and awards
Hobbies that
speak to your career interests (writing about medicine, leadership of peers in sports leagues)
Peer educating and mentorship
Work experiences before medical school that have influenced your practice
Use evidence. Your accomplishments in the above
areas should be highlighted with objective markers of
success, like awards received, recognition, length of service, etc.
Organization is key. Organize your sections in categories with items within the same group.
Leadership-tutoring, mentoring, president of organization, ultrasound scholar, etc
Recognition-honors, awards, etc.
Extracurriculars-specialty tracks, community service, conferences attended, etc.
Here, you can outline 3 outstanding characteristics, in two sentences or less each. You will review
your NCs with your Career Advisor during your required yearly Career Advising session.
Information compiled by Trilce Ruiz, Advisor Student Affairs-July 2019