Medical Council of Canada

How to demonstrate your knowledge and skills

How to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in different OSCE stations

Station instructions

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.

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Double stations

Some OSCEs include double 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.

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OSCE stations

The following are examples of stations demonstrating tasks you may experience in an OSCE: