I'm curious to know what other people's experiences have been with different grading policies in med school. I'm on my school's curriculum committee, and we're going to be discussing this issue soon. I'm particularly interested in how schools grade students during the clinical years. Anyone know if most schools use a normative system that awards honors to the top 10-20% or if it's more common to use a criterion-based system that gives a top grade to anyone who makes the cut? I can see arguments for both methods. My main concerns are to create a policy that's fair, student friendly, and that doesn't encourage competition between students. My main worry with a normative system is that it puts students in direct competion with each other on the rotation. I realize that some competition's inevitable - it's the nature of the beast. But it would suck to feel like you're in direct competition with the other student on the floor with you - I can imagine that leading to some nasty situations. Our school has 5-8 teaching sites for each rotation. So in reality, you wouldn't be with your fellow students on a daily basis. Maybe this would avoid the feeling of constant comparison and competition. But there's also the inevitable randomness of easy/hard grading. The current proposal is for our school to adapt a normative grading policy. My gut is against it, but not sure yet. Any thoughts? Thanks.