Author(s): Collins JP, Gamble GD
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Abstract Limitations of the traditional final medical examination for the assessment of clinical competence led to such developments as simulated patients and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). An interdisciplinary OSCE incorporating simulated patients and involving nine disciplines was introduced into the final examination in the Auckland School of Medicine to supplement the written papers and the long case. Six-hundred and eight students were assessed over a 6-year period. Each of the three examination modes provided good discriminatory power. Significant correlations were found between the tests, but this does not mean one or more is redundant. Principal component analysis showed that a single significant factor accounted for over half the variance in the final assessment. This factor was equally weighted to the three examinations. A variety of evaluative methods are necessary to assess a student's competence and greater emphasis should be placed on those methods which encourage the learning of clinical skills and concurrently provide an appropriate mechanism for assessing them. The changes introduced have been supported by students and teachers and have fostered the learning of important clinical skills. Efforts to standardize the single long case have not overcome the criticisms surrounding its use, particularly in summative assessment.
This article was published in Med Educ
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research