Failing on feedback
Continuous descriptive assessment will help
Medical students fail clinical exams all the time. Whether it's long or short cases or the new objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), some students always fall below the required standard. But what happens when they fail varies considerably from school to school. For example, at Guy's, King's and St Thomas's Hospitals medical school in London OSCE failure means repeating an entire academic year, even if all written examinations were passed. There are two important issues here. Is retaking an entire academic year always the best way to improve someone's clinical performance? Should there be better systems in place to monitor deficiencies in clinical performance?
Retaking a clinical year in itself is not necessarily an assurance of better performance in an OSCE. Being asked to repeat a year of study should, where appropriate, be accompanied by clear advice on what is necessary to succeed. Resources to enable this process to happen