OSCE, which stands for Objective Structured Clinical examination, was developed as an evaluation tool, in Dundee, Scotland in the early 1970’s by Dr. Harden and colleagues. This was probably an attempt to overcome some of the problems faced in the conventional practical examination in a clinical setting. The OSCE is now used in over 50 countries world-wide.
The most commonly appreciated advantages of OSCE/OSPE is that it provides an opportunity to test a student’s ability to integrate knowledge, clinical skills, as well as communication with the patient which is a must for any student aspiring to become a successful clinician. This method removes the subjectivity responsible for bias on the part of examiner simultaneously providing opportunity to provide constructive feedback to students for improvement.
As the name suggests, it is a method of evaluating student’s clinical competence in a planned, structure with well defined objectives, which may be a small component of a larger clinical competence eg history taking , examining the pulse or even interpretation of a laboratory investigation.
Some useful links