Formative Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) as an Assessment Tool in UK Undergraduate Medical Education: A Review of Its Utility (2023)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Al-Hashimi, Khalid; Said, Umar N; Khan, Taherah N.

Cureus. 15(5):e38519, 2023 May.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a globally established clinical examination; it is often considered the gold standard in evaluating clinical competence within medicine and other healthcare professionals' educations alike. The OSCE consists of a circuit of multiple stations testing a multitude of clinical competencies expected of undergraduate students at certain levels throughout training. Despite its widespread use, the evidence regarding formative renditions of the examination in medical training is highly variable; thus, its suitability as an assessment has been challenged for various reasons. Classically, Van Der Vleuten's formula of utility has been adopted in the appraisal of assessment methods as means of testing, including the OSCE. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature surrounding the formative use of OSCEs in undergraduate medical training, whilst specifically focusing on the constituents of the equation and means of mitigating factors that compromise its objectivity.

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