What is the Full Form of OSCE?

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The full form of OSCE is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination. It is often used in health sciences to test students’ clinical skills, knowledge, and other essential aspects such as clinical thinking, medical procedures, prescriptions, decision-making, etc. Interestingly, it was first developed in the year 1975 by Ronald Harden, a Professor of Medical Education at the University of Dundee.

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What is an OSCE Station?

For the unaware, an OSCE examination consists of different scenarios, all of which exist in a different station. Students taking the exam progress as they move from station to station, engaging in different scenarios with mock patients or actors. Accordingly, students and their skills are assessed by examiners at each OSCE station and then given the marks accordingly. 

Features of an OSCE Examination

Here are a few noteworthy features of an OSCE examination:

  • The total number of objective stations in an OSCE examination range from 15-18.
  • Every station comes with a different scenario. For instance, a 50-year-old woman is complaining of constant nausea. Obtain a complete history of the said patient. 
  • Each OSCE station must assess different aspects of a student’s clinical competence ranging from communication to medical procedures, mobilization techniques, exercise prescription, and more.   

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Purpose of OSCE

Ever since its inception, the format and purpose of the OSCE examination have been constantly evolving. 

  • It is often used as a performance-based assessment of students or trainees in medical schools.
  • The OSCE examination also acts as a tool for the assessment of graduates seeking licensure and certifications to practice legally.
  • Some universities use the OSCE examination to asses students seeking admission into undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

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