What is the
OSCE Examiners' Checklist?
Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs) cases cover
common and important situations that a physician is likely to encounter
in common medical practice in clinics, doctors’ offices, emergency
departments, and hospital settings in real practice. Thus you are
evaluated as if it is a real life practice.
OSCE exams use standardized patients (SP), i.e., people trained to
portray real patients. These SPs follow a certain script to play with
you during the encounter. These scripts are written in details including
patient general look, cloths, gestures, emotions, and all negative and
positive answer. It also include any unexpected behaviors such as the SP
turns agitated, upset, violent, restless, impolite, or leaves the room
during the encounter.
As SPs follow strictly these scripts, OSCEs examiners also have a
standard printed checklist or blueprint for each station that they have
to fill out while observing you. These checklists are standardized to
reduce examiners' bias. On these checklists, there are station specific
points and a general performance points to be assessed. There are up to
40 points to be checked in each station. Some OSCEs may also include a
checklist to be filled out by the standardized patient.
SPs will reveal information when specific related questions are
asked. They wont voluntarily give you information as some times happens
in real life patient encounters. For example, if you don't ask about
their medication now and in the past, they wont show you a
printed list of their medication.
In some OSCEs, SPs are instructed to follow different paths or ask
specific questions according to your performance. For example, turning
uncooperative if you are not responding to their concerns or gestures.
What is the OSCE
Checklists are organized to assess the
- Medical knowledge specific to this station, such us,
symptoms, signs, associated factors, risk factors, prevalence,
complications, prognosis, management plans, .. etc.
- Data gathering skills: Your way of
patient information collection by history taking and physical
- Documentation – completion of a patient note summarizing
the findings of the patient encounter, diagnostic impression, and
initial patient work-up.
- Communication and Interpersonal
- Initiative of interview: acknowledgement of patient,
introduces self, at ease, attentive to patient.
- Questioning skills: e.g., use of open-ended questions,
transitional statements, confident and skilful questioning,
appropriate language, use of different types questions, or awkward,
exclusive use of closed ended or leading questions, jargon,
interrupts patient inappropriately.
- Information-sharing skills e.g., None given, avoidance of
jargon, responsiveness to patient questions or concerns, provision
of counseling when appropriate, confident and skilful at giving
information, attentive to patient understanding; truthful.
- Professional manner and rapport e.g., Condescending,
offensive, aggressive, judgmental, negative attitude to patient, or
polite and interested, warm, polite, empathic, concern for patient's
comfort and modesty, examinee's attention to personal hygiene,
expression of interest in the impact of the illness.
- Listening skills: Interrupts patient inappropriately,
impatient, attentive to patient’s answers and concerns.
- Organization of interview: Scattered, shot-gun approach,
logical flow, purposeful, integrated handling of encounter
- Closing: Abrupt, or acknowledges end of interview, or
attempts closure, or clear closure, or organized, thoughtful
- Ethical conduct: Markedly inappropriate or awkward
handling of ethical issues, or considers and responds to ethical
issues with care and effectiveness.
- Compliance optimization: Did the candidate do everything
possible to optimize the patient’s compliance?
- Physical examination: no consent,
awkward, uses jargon, no interaction or acknowledgment of patient,
or clear, concise instructions, elicits consent to physical
examination, at ease with patient.
- Attention given to patient's physical comfort:
Inattentive to patient's comfort or dignity; e.g., no draping
and/or causes pain unnecessarily, or consistently attentive to
patient’s comfort and dignity.
- Organization of physical examination: Scattered, patient
moved unnecessarily, logical flow, purposeful, integrated
handling of examination.
- Spoken English Proficiency:
Clarity of spoken English communication within the context of the
doctor-patient encounter (e.g., pronunciation, word choice, and
minimizing the need to repeat questions or statements).
all of the above skills weighed equally in all stations?
Although you will be evaluated for all the above listed
skills in each OSCE station, they are weighed differently from station to
station. For example, an emergency station management of a comatose patient
scenario will weigh medical knowledge and examination skills more than
communication skills (up to 90%). While a long suffering depressed patient in a
psychiatric scenario station will weigh communication skills up to 60-70% of the
expected to show all the above skills in 5 to 20 minutes!!
need to be alert throughout the encounter to all of the above listed points and,
yes, this is not easy but not impossible. You have to develop a a way to perform
these OSCEs so that all the above points have been taken care of automatically
and practice it so that it will be an eternal part of your future practice. Is
that possible?... Yes it is!..
When you arrive home after a long day at your medical school or hospital (or
in the future, at your practice), how many times did you wondered which way did
you take driving back home?!! You didn't figure it out although you were sure it
was the right safe way home and you did follow traffic laws and road ethics!!.
You don't need to look for what is the OSCE examiner checklist for each and
every illness or symptom commonly seen in OSCE exams!
that will take??... How much efforts you'll need to spend on that??!
need to know each and every OSCE examiner checklist!
A Step By Step Guide To Mastering The OSCE
takes care of that. Just memorize the steps and practice them repeatedly!
performance at the OSCEs should be just like that tired driver on an autopilot
perfect mode!!. By following the steps, the OSCE examiner checklist will be
A Step By Step Guide To Mastering The OSCE
to transform yourself into an autopilot efficient physician.
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Examiners' checklist, sign in now