Does student performance on preclinical OSCEs relate to clerkship grades?

Margot Chima, Gary Beck Dallaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) have been used to assess the clinical competence and interpersonal skills of healthcare professional students for decades. However, the relationship between preclinical (second year or M2) OSCE grades and clerkship performance had never been evaluated, until it was explored to provide information to educators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). In addition, the relationship between M2 OSCE communication scores (which is a portion of the total score) and third-year (M3) Internal Medicine (IM) clerkship OSCE scores was also explored. Lastly, conflicting evidence exists about the relationship between the amount of previous clinical experience and OSCE performance. Therefore, the relationship between M3 IM clerkship OSCE scores and the timing of the clerkship in the academic year was explored. Methods: Data from UNMC M2 OSCEs and M3 IM clerkship OSCEs were obtained for graduates of the 2013 and 2014 classes. Specifically, the following data points were collected: M2 fall OSCE total, M2 fall OSCE communication; M2 spring OSCE total, M2 spring OSCE communication; and M3 IM clerkship OSCE total percentages. Data were organized by class, M3 IM clerkship OSCE performance, and timing of the clerkship. Microsoft Excel and SPSS were used for data organization and analysis. Results: Of the 245 records, 229 (93.5%) had data points for all metrics of interest. Significant differences between the classes of 2013 and 2014 existed for average M2 spring total, M2 spring communication, and M3 IM clerkship OSCEs. Retrospectively, there were no differences in M2 OSCE performances based on how students scored on the M3 IM clerkship OSCE. M3 IM clerkship OSCE performance improved for those students who completed the clerkship last in the academic year. Conclusions: There were inconsistencies in OSCE performances between the classes of 2013 and 2014, but more information is needed to determine if this is because of testing variability or heterogeneity from class to class. Although there were no differences in preclinical scores based onM3IM clerkship OSCE scores, studentswould benefit from a longitudinal review of their OSCE performance over their medical training. Additionally, students may benefit from more reliable and valid forms of assessing communication. In general, students who take the IM clerkship last in the academic year performed better on the required OSCE. More information is needed to determine why this is seen only at the end of the year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31724
JournalMedical Education Online
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Clinical education
  • Communication skills
  • Curriculum development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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