After a break for distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students of I. Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University have just started classroom studying, in particular, training for practical skills development at the simulation centre. Therefore, at the end of the semester (on December 6, 13-14 and 16, 2021, respectively), medical students of the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of study of the International Students Faculty of Spring Recruitment were invited to the TESIMED Interdepartmental Training Centre to take an objective structured clinical exam. OSCE is used to assess the ability to communicate, perform medical manipulations, basic practical (manual) skills – the technique of physical examination; complicated practical (manual) skills – physical examination to identify and interpret pathological changes (symptoms and syndromes); cognitive skills, etc.
After registration and instruction, the students begin performing practical tasks in 12 different stations, which cover practical skills to be developed provided by the curriculum of a particular course.
Students before the exam
Students during registration and instruction
This exam allows testing the level of students’ practical skills, as well as their ability to apply the skill in conditions close to real, i.e. the level of professional competence.
3rd year student during presenting her skills in injections administering
Students performing tasks at the OSCE stations
The teachers-examiners noticed a high level of preparation of students. However, despite the students, who easily coped with the tasks at the stations, there were those who should work on their skills development. OSCE provides an opportunity to individually demonstrate their skills in safe conditions and identify strengths and weaknesses, i.e. gives impetus to self-development. It was also noticed that the exam was more stressful for the 4th year students who actually spent the period of studying at the clinic on distance learning.
During this year’s exam, digital technologies were used as well, including electronic checklists and specially designed software for automatic calculation and registration of the results. The teachers were able to fill in digitized checklists using tablets, and the results were transmitted for registration via the Internet. Because the scores obtained by each student during the exam were calculated automatically, the teachers had no way of influencing this process. This contributed to better objectivity of assessment and speed of processing of results.
Information by the OSCE Working Group