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Publication Title

Journal of Contemporary Medical Education






Objective: There is a trend toward using pass/fail (P/F) grading in the first 2 years of medical school as it has been noted to improve student well-being and academic performance is not negatively impacted. It is important that medical students are afforded the best medical education possible to prepare them for residency placement. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of P/F grading in medical school on residency placement. Methods: This study compared archival residency match data from two medical school classes. The Class of 2016 had tiered grading and the Class of 2017 had P/F grading in the first year of medical school. Doximity’s Residency Navigator was used to rank the residency programs and an independent samples t-test was calculated to determine if residency rankings differed by class. Results: The findings showed no statistically significant differences in residency placement when comparing a cohort of medical school graduates with tiered grading to a cohort with P/F grading in the first year of medical school. Conclusion: These findings may be useful to medical education leaders when making decisions about grading systems. Medical education leaders should consider implementing P/F grading into the first year of medical school.


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