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Br Med J. 1975 February 22; 1(5955): 447–451.
PMCID: PMC1672423

Assessment of clinical competence using objective structured examination.

Abstract

To avoid many of the disadvantages of the traditional clinical examination we have introduced the structured clinical examination. In this students rotate round a series of stations in the hospital ward. At one station they are asked to carry out a procedure, such as take a history, undertake one aspect of physical examination, or interpret laboratory investigations in the light of a patient's problem, and at the next station they have to answer questions on the findings at the previous station and their interpretation. As they cannot go back to check on omissions multiple-choice questions have a minimal cueing effect. The students may be observed and scored at some stations by examiners using a check list. In the structured clinical examination the variables and complexity of the examination are more easily controlled, its aims can be more clearly defined, and more of the student's knowledge can be tested. The examination is more objective and a marking strategy can be decided in advance. The examination results in improved feed-back to students and staff.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fleming PR, Manderson WG, Matthews MB, Sanderson PH, Stokes JF. Evolution of an examination: M.R.C.P. (U.K.). Br Med J. 1974 Apr 13;2(5910):99–107. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wilson GM, Lever R, Harden RM, Robertson JI. Examination of clinical examiners. Lancet. 1969 Jan 4;1(7584):37–40. [PubMed]
  • HUBBARD JP, LEVIT EJ, SCHUMACHER CF, SCHNABEL TG., Jr AN OBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF CLINICAL COMPETENCE. NEW TECHNICS USED BY THE NATIONAL BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS. N Engl J Med. 1965 Jun 24;272:1321–1328. [PubMed]
  • Marshall VR, Ludbrook J. The relative importance of patient and examiner variability in a test of clinical skills. Br J Med Educ. 1972 Sep;6(3):212–217. [PubMed]
  • Lever RS, Harden RM, Wilson GM, Jolley JL. A simple answer sheet designed for use with objective examinations. Br J Med Educ. 1970 Mar;4(1):37–41. [PubMed]
  • Penta FB, Kofman S. The effectiveness of simulation devices in teaching selected skills of physical diagnosis. J Med Educ. 1973 May;48(5):442–445. [PubMed]

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