Surveying Medical Students

Policy 958.00

Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is to monitor the volume and appropriateness of survey requests made to medical students.

The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine (COM) wishes to ensure confidentiality standards, promote integrity of instruments in order to ensure utility of results, and protect its medical students from requests for an overabundance of surveys.

Data collection instruments/surveys that require review are those that include Larner COM medical students as respondents and are:

  • intended for scholarly research purposes
  • intended to gather data to inform the learning experience and environment  

Data collection instruments that do not require review are those intended to assess event attendance, voting, polling, or those sent out by Office of Medical Student Education (OMSE) to accomplish administrative functions.

The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine will not consider results of surveys taken outside of this policy.

If unsure whether a data instrument requires review, please forward a short explanation to the Director of Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment for guidance.

Policy Elaboration

Survey Distribution

Surveys distributed online must utilize software approved by the UVM Institutional Review Board (LimeSurvey, RedCap). These platforms have been vetted for confidentiality protections and data ownership issues. Other platforms, such as Survey Monkey, should not be used.

All survey links will be posted in the WeeklyWire, the Larner COM weekly electronic newsletter. Survey links will run in two consecutive newsletters.

Under special circumstances, the Associate/Assistant Dean for Students may approve a survey for distribution directly to students via Larner COM email listserv.

Survey links should not be distributed via social media due to concerns about representative samples. Social media can be used to promote surveys but must refer students back to the WeeklyWire newsletter for students to access the link.


Students, staff and faculty interested in soliciting survey responses from students at the Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine must seek instrument approval from the Director of Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment.  All surveys require a review of the instrument. Release of surveys must be preceded by approval upon review of a final draft of the survey.

The Director of Education Program Outcome Analysis may request additional documentation such as proof of IRB review, name of faculty sponsor (if applicable), and intended survey platform. Survey requests may be referred to the Medical Education Leadership Team for approval.

If a survey seeks to assess parts of the curriculum, as a courtesy the student should contact the relevant curriculum director to inform them about the survey. Students should notify any applicable Larner College of Medicine departments or offices for access to respondent population and as a professional courtesy. If a student requires assistance in identifying what departments or offices should be notified, please contact the Director of Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment.

The timing of the survey release will be scheduled in relation to other open surveys and curricular activities. Every attempt will be made to release surveys in a first-come first-serve fashion.

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students.

This policy also applies to vendors and researchers outside of the College of Medicine and to students wishing to survey students related to scholarly project requirements. This policy is not applicable to surveys solicited by the administration including, but not limited to, official Dean’s Office Surveys, course evaluations surveys, curricular surveys from the Office of Medical Education, Course Directors and their designees, or any other persons the Dean deems appropriate.

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Not Applicable

Related University of Vermont Policies

Not Applicable

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

  • 3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism
  • 8.5 Medical Student Feedback


  • 6/20/2017 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 5/15/2018 Policy Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 9/18/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 3/17/2020 Reformatted [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/16/2020 Policy Edited (minor) [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Assistant Dean for Medical Education (Director of Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment)

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