Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs)
Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs) are one of the many assessment methods included in the School’s Assessment for Improvement plan. OSCEs provide a systematic approach to authentic student assessment and are used to assess students’ clinical and communication skill development across the doctor of pharmacy curriculum. OSCEs consist of a circuit of stations through which a range of clinical and communication skills are assessed by standardized patient examiners using objective scoring rubrics. Doctor of pharmacy students complete a total of fifteen OSCE standardized patient (SP) encounters during the first three years of the curriculum in order to assess a variety of skills needed to deliver effective patient care. These may include patient assessment and problem identification; device or medication use counseling; demonstration of drug administration or patient monitoring techniques; and communication and interpersonal skills. Feedback from the OSCEs enables students, faculty and preceptors to better understand and tailor subsequent instruction to students’ strengths and areas for improvement.
OSCEs are a required element of the doctor of pharmacy curriculum. Students must pass each OSCE to satisfy requirements for completing the PharmD program. Students who miss an OSCE for either excused or unexcused reasons or arrive too late to be worked into the SP rotation, will receive an “incomplete” in the course through which the OSCE or SP exercise was administered. A final course grade will be given when the OSCE is completed, usually in the next academic year. Excused absences are granted only for students with a personal illness or injury on the day of the exam documented by a health-care provider. Students with unexcused absences will receive a grade of zero for the exam or exercise, but must still complete the activity in the next academic year.
No make-up sessions are provided during the semester in which an OSCE or other SP exercise is missed, even for excused absences. Students who miss an OSCE in the PY2 year will be required to complete the requirement during their PY3 year. Students may not begin fourth year advanced immersion experiences (AIEs) until all OSCE requirements are completed. Failure to complete an OSCE during the normal course cycle may delay the student’s progression to AIEs and graduation. It may be possible to arrange a make-up session for third-professional-year students who miss an OSCE to prevent a delay in beginning AIEs. In such cases, the student will be responsible for the costs incurred in repeating an OSCE outside of the normal course schedule (i.e. costs for standardized patients, facilities, staff and materials). OSCE costs range from $200 to $500 per student, depending on the specific nature of the cases. The student will be notified in advance of his or her financial responsibility.