The Institutional Alumni Survey (IAS): A Measure of Graduate Performance & Program Quality

Publication ID Published Volume
9615 November 18, 2013 9


The UAMS Institutional Alumni Survey (IAS) is a GME tool to collect data from physicians who are recent graduates of ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs, regardless of medical specialty. The IAS is a self-assessment tool designed for on-line administration using a commercially available survey sponsor. It measures satisfaction with preparation for practice, adequacy of training, general competence, career satisfaction, and pursuit of non-clinical activities such as teaching and research. Two subscales are contained: (1) Preparedness & Training Adequacy and (2) Confidence & Support. Four free-text questions are included to encourage candid comments about program strengths and weaknesses and to solicit suggestions for improvement. The survey can be completed in ≤15 minutes.

The protocol to develop and implement the IAS was IRB-approved. Over a four-year period, the IAS proved to be feasible, cost-effective, and an efficient use of resources. It supported program directors who have limited time and resources to develop new assessment tools. When the sponsoring institution provides the human and technical resources to conduct the survey and report the results, programs needed only to provide a list of targeted alumni with contact information.

Pooled response data increase the potential for valid and reliable results from the IAS. Internal reliability using Cronbach’s alpha was good for the subscales (0.83 and 0.73). Construct validity included use of an expert panel and relating the subscales to the overall career satisfaction question.

ACGME-accredited programs are required to monitor and track graduate performance, but few measures exist beyond board certification examinations. As alumni surveys have been identified as an indicator of the caliber of a program, the IAS was developed as an additional measure. (See ACGME Program Director Guide to the Common Program Requirements, September 2012, page 52.) Post-graduation reflection on one’s education, especially in comparison to graduates from other programs, provides a unique assessment of program quality. Graduates who have recently entered practice are able to compare and contrast their training with the realities of medical practice and national standards.

Descriptive data generated by the IAS during an annual institutional survey can identify training strengths and areas for improvement and inform the educational program improvement process at the program and institutional levels. The IAS also may function as a tool for institutional oversight, providing tracking data and evidence of longitudinal quality improvements.


Deloney L, Lensing S, Hicks E, Clardy J. The institutional alumni survey (IAS): a measure of graduate performance & program quality. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9615.

Educational Objectives

The IAS tool may be used by GME programs in any medical specialty to:

  1. Collect feedback from physicians who are recent graduates of ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs.
  2. Identify program strengths and areas for improvement.
  3. Maximize GME resources in support of program directors who have limited time and resources to develop new assessment tools.
  4. Provide tracking data and evidence of longitudinal quality improvements for institutional oversight.


  • Graduate Medical Education, Education, Medical, Graduate, Alumni Survey


  1. Deloney LA, Clardy JA. Development of an institutional post-graduate survey for alumni of the UAMS College of Medicine. Presentation to the Southern Medical Association 5th Annual Conference in Graduate Medical Education, Nashville, April 3, 2008.
  2. Deloney LA, Buchmann RF, Hicks E, Clardy, JA. An Institutional House Staff Alumni Survey. Poster presentation to the Association of University Radiologists 58th Annual Meeting, San Diego, March 23-26, 2010.
  3. Deloney LA, Hicks E, Norwood A, Clardy JA. An institutional house staff alumni survey for the UAMS College of Medicine: Results of 2009 Pilot Administration. Poster presentation to the Southern Group on Educational Affairs, Oklahoma City, April 15-17, 2010.
  4. Berry K, Hicks E, Clardy J, Mizell J, Deloney L. An institutional GME alumni survey as an external measure of program quality. Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Annual Educational Conference. Orlando, March 2, 2012.

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