Students' concerns about the pre-internship objective structured clinical examination in medical education
Ali Labaf1, Hasan Eftekhar2, Fereshteh Majlesi3, Pasha Anvari4, Farshad Sheybaee-Moghaddam4, Delnavaz Jan4, Arsia Jamali4
1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Imam Khomeini Hospital; Clinical Skills Development Center, Medical Faculty, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health; Health Center for Community Based Participatory Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Health Management and Economic, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Students' Scientific Research Center (SSRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Dr. Ali Labaf
Department of Emergency Medicine, Imam Khomeini Hospital Clinical Skills Development Center, Medical Faculty, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Source of Support: This study was a part of MD-MPH thesis supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences,, Conflict of Interest: Ali Labaf is the director of Clinical Skills Development Center, Medical Faculty, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Despite several studies on implementation, reliability and validity of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), the perceptions of examinees toward this evaluation tool remain unclear. The aim of the current study was to assess students' perceptions of the OSCE. Methods: All students in their final year of studies, who participated in the pre-internship OSCE in September 2010, were included in the study. A 16-item questionnaire was designed to assess: Characteristics of respondents; organization, content and structure of the OSCE; and perceptions of validity, reliability and rating of the OSCE with respect to other assessment methods. Questionnaires were administered immediately after all students had finished the OSCE and before leaving the examination venue. Results: Response rate was 86.2%, with 77% of the students indicating the OSCE as a useful learning experience. A majority of the students (62%) agreed that a wide range of clinical skills was covered in this exam. However, 66% had concerns about the wide coverage of knowledge assessed. A total of 81% of students did not prefer the OSCE to multiple choice question exams and 88% found the OSCE intimidating and more stressful than other forms of assessment. Discussion: Our study demonstrates that although the majority of students believe in the reliability and validity of the OSCE, they have concerns about it and report poor acceptance of the OSCE. Further studies are necessary to assess the important concerns of the students and the effectiveness of interventions in improving the acceptability of the OSCE.