Foundations Phase OSCEs

Timing

The Foundations Phase OSCE is given in two parts and testing dates will be assigned by College:
  • Foundations Part 1: Spring of year 1 of the Foundations Phase (Term 2): 4 cases
  • Foundations Part 2: Fall of year 2 of the Foundations Phase (Term 3): 6 cases

Content

The Foundations OSCE are primarily based on the Foundations of Clinical Medicine (MEDSCI 503) Core Clinical Skills. Any content that has been covered up to that point may be included in the Foundations OSCEs.

In addition, any clinically relevant content that has been presented in any of the themes may be covered. In particular, ethics and professionalism benchmarks are well suited for the OSCEs. In summary, learning objectives that may be tested fall under:

  • Physical Examination
  • Medical Interviewing
  • Cross-cultural Medicine Module
  • Ethics (Ethics Worksheet)
  • Professionalism

Note that only content that has been covered by all students will be included in the OSCEs.

Format

Most cases with a standardized patient will include 2 minutes to read instructions, 8 minutes with the patient, and 3 minutes for feedback. Some cases may be shorter depending on the nature of the case.

Carefully read the instructions, and then focus on taking care of the patient as you would in a real patient encounter.

  • You may be asked to take a history from a patient. In addition to exploring the chief concern, you should ask about other medical problems, past medical history, medications, allergies, and pertinent family or social issues.
  • You may be asked to perform a specific physical diagnosis task in accordance with what you have been taught in the Foundations of Clinical Medicine. Read the instructions carefully: you may be asked NOT to obtain a history because the focus is on physical examinations skills.
  • There are other formats that you may encounter: you may be asked to examine a mannequin, answer questions about a case, or work through a computer simulation.

The video below describes the process of a typical OSCE station.

What Does a OSCE Look Like 

Grading

In an encounter with a standardized patient, observers (trained standardized patients or clinicians) are evaluating your history and examination skills as well as your communication skills. For each OSCE station, you will receive a grade of Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Needs Development. You will be notified of your grade for each station after all students have completed the exam.