Medical Council of Canada



Standardized patient testimonial

Candidates will interact with standardized patients (SPs) in most stations. SPs learn a role and are trained to standardize their responses to questions or to physical exam components.

SPs do not evaluate the candidates. The SP’s role includes:

  • Train to a standardized clinical role for each OSCE station
  • Remain standardized to that role throughout the examination
  • Report any exam-day concerns to staff

In some stations, you may also encounter a standardized colleague (for example, a nurse, physiotherapist, physician, etc.), or standardized family member(s). For simplicity, we will refer to any standardized role as an “SP”.

Physician examiner testimonial

The physician examiners (PE) that you will encounter in the OSCEs are practising physicians, including senior residents who have experience at the level of the OSCE. For example, examiners for the NAC Examination or MCCQE Part II are physicians with a licence for independent practice in Canada.

Typically, PEs focus on one exam station for the whole day. The examiner’s role includes:

  • Train as an examiner
  • Train to use the scoring tools
  • During the examination, observe and assess candidate performance with standardized scoring tools

PEs are rigorously trained prior to the start of each OSCE. On examination day, they also conduct a run-through of their specific exam station with the SP to familiarize themselves with the content and portrayal of the role.

PEs will often be asked to complete different types of assessments on their scoring sheets, including:

  • Global ratings to assess overall performance in specific competencies
  • Checklists to assess the process
  • Select scoring items to assess critical elements of the patient case