If you’re pursuing a career in healthcare or a related field, chances are you’ve come across the term “OSCE” at some point. OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination, and it’s a vital component of many medical and healthcare education programs worldwide. Whether you’re a medical student, nursing student, or a professional seeking to refresh your knowledge, understanding the OSCE essentials is crucial.
We’ve been helping medical schools and universities with their OSCE exams for over 30 years. During that time, our software has been used to help deliver countless OSCEs, so we understand how they work. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look into what they are, the format and how best to prepare for one.
An OSCE is a type of assessment used in medical education to evaluate a candidate’s clinical skills, knowledge, and competence. However, unlike written exams, medical OSCEs focus on the practical application of skills in a simulated clinical setting. Generally, they involve a series of OSCE stations or scenarios designed to assess specific clinical competencies.
An OSCE often consists of multiple stations, each assessing a specific skill or competency. Here are the key characteristics of a typical OSCE:
Due to their nature, OSCEs are mainly conducted in an ‘in-person’ format, but certain circumstances may allow for online assessment. The pandemic is the perfect example, another is where travel or time out of the clinical setting may make in-person exams difficult. As a result, several remote solutions are available including the eSystem remote OSCE module.
In medical education, the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) plays an important role in assessing clinical skills and competencies. By providing a simulated yet realistic environment, medical OSCEs help ensure that healthcare professionals are well-prepared to deliver safe and effective patient care. Adequate preparation combines clinical practice, knowledge review, and time management for optimal success.