Surveying our Students

Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) students are asked to complete numerous surveys. Many surveys are administered by the Office of Medical Student Education (OMSE) and by the Office of Education (OE) for curriculum and program evaluation purposes.  In addition, WUSM students receive requests from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to complete the following surveys:  Matriculating Student Questionnaire (MSQ), the Second Year Questionnaire (Y2Q), and the Graduation Questionnaire (GQ).

In addition to these surveys, there are steadily increasing requests coming to individuals throughout the WUSM central administration for WUSM students to complete surveys for research purposes or for program evaluation/Quality Improvement (QI) purposes. Guidelines for responding to these requests are needed to ensure that our students are not over-burdened with requests for survey completion and that requests they do receive from the central administration should be for surveys that have been reviewed by appropriate individuals in the central administration for overall quality, appropriateness, and compliance with IRB regulations.  Summarized below are the suggested steps for each of three different situations that may arise regarding requests for WUSM students to complete surveys.

Notifying WUSM students about an opportunity to participate in a research study:

  1. These requests can come from within WUSM or from other institutions.
  2. Sufficient information must be provided by the individual making the request so that the individual in the WUSM OE receiving the request can make a decision about the quality of the research study and appropriateness of the survey for administration to WUSM students. Such information must include documentation of IRB-approval at the institution at which the research is being conducted, a description of the research study (or IRB-approved consent form or information sheet), and a copy of the survey instrument.
  3. The MERU will serve in a consultative capacity for other individuals in the WUSM central administration as needed to make this determination about the quality and appropriateness of the survey.

Administering a survey for research purposes to WUSM students:

  1. These requests can come from within WUSM or from other institutions.
  2. This is an entirely different situation from #1, above. If the WUSM administration is involved in actually sending the survey itself, then this becomes active engagement in the conduct of the research. There must be a designated WUSM-specific site principal investigator (PI).
  3. WUSM IRB approval is required before a survey can be sent to WUSM students for completion for research purposes.  This is the responsibility of the WUSM-specific site PI.
  4. Sufficient information must be provided by the individual researcher making the request so that the individual in the WUSM OE receiving the request can make a decision about the quality of the research study and appropriateness of the survey for administration to WUSM. Such information must include documentation of WUSM IRB-approval, a description of the research study (or IRB-approved consent form or information sheet), and a copy of the survey instrument.
  5. The MERU will serve in a consultative capacity for other individuals in the WUSM OE as needed to make this determination about the quality and appropriateness of the survey.
  6. Should there be concerns about the quality of the survey, MERU can also work directly with individuals designing the survey if they are at WUSM to improve the quality of the survey instrument.

Administering a survey to WU students for Evaluation/Quality Improvement (QI) purposes ONLY (NOT for any research purposes).

  1. This request may be different from #1 or #2 above as such a survey is not being administered for research purposes; thus, IRB approval may not be required.
  2. Sufficient information should be provided by the individual making the request for assistance so that the individual in the OE receiving the request can make a decision about the appropriateness of the survey items for the specific evaluation/QI project. Such information will include a description of the evaluation, the survey instrument, and plans for use of the data collected.
  3. The MERU will serve in a consultative capacity for other individuals in the WUSM OE, as needed, to make this determination about the quality and appropriateness of the survey.
  4. Should there be concerns, MERU can work directly with individuals designing the survey if they are at WUSM to improve the quality of the survey instrument.
  5. Course Directors do not need MERU review or permission to survey students in their classes for course evaluation or QI projects, but MERU faculty are available for assistance in planning evaluations/QI projects.

Submit a request to survey our students >>

For questions, please contact Leslie Blaylock at mperez@wustl.edu