How to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in different OSCE stations
You will begin each station in front of the station door, where you will see instructions for that station. Read the instructions then enter the station when the signal system indicates you may start.
A set of instructions will also be provided inside the examination station. There is no penalty if you need to reread the instructions.
Types of tasks you may experience
These are the types of tasks that you may need to perform during an OSCE:
- Taking a patient history
- Conducting a focused physical examination
- Taking a history and doing a focused physical examination (combined tasks)
- Managing/resolving a patient problem
- Assessing and managing an urgent or emergent situation
- Counseling a patient and/or family members
- Answering oral or written questions (short answer write-in or multiple choice)
- Summarizing and presenting findings to an examiner or colleague
- Reading or referencing materials related to the patient’s situation, such as articles, charts, test results, medication lists or summaries
- Interacting with physicians or other health-care professionals
This list is not exhaustive. Some stations may require more than one task.
Some OSCEs include paired stations. This type of station requires you to perform two components sequentially in two separate rooms. Both components will relate to the same clinical scenario.
For example, you may be asked to review a patient’s chart in the first component prior to meeting with the patient in the second component. Or, you may meet with a patient in the first component then answer written questions relating to that patient in the second component.
Examples of stations and tasks
Case 1: History-taking station
Alan Starks, 46 years old, presents to your office with hematuria.
IN THE NEXT 11 MINUTES, OBTAIN A FOCUSED AND RELEVANT HISTORY OF THE PRESENTING PROBLEM.
Case 2: History-taking and patient counseling
Caroline Kojack, 51 years old, presents to your office to discuss her insomnia.
IN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES, OBTAIN A FOCUSED AND RELEVANT HISTORY OF THE PRESENTING PROBLEM AND ADDRESS THE PATIENT’S CONCERNS.
Case 3: Description of combined history and physical examination station
Ken Scott, 40 years old, presents to your office complaining of severe pain in his left leg.
IN THE NEXT 13 MINUTES, OBTAIN A FOCUSED AND RELEVANT HISTORY AND TELL THE EXAMINER WHAT FOCUSED AND RELEVANT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION MANOEUVRES YOU WOULD PERFORM AND EXPLAIN WHAT YOU WOULD BE LOOKING FOR.