Objective structured clinical examination
- By: Carl Morris
“OSCE, schmOSCE,” that's what I say. Structured? Well yes, there's the buzzer that goes off every five minutes, usually just as you're saying “now, if we could move on to your main problem.” Objective? Hmmm, sort of. The examiners all have those lists of check boxes to tick off as you flounder away. As long as you are one of the early candidates and the examiner's Glasgow Coma Score is above 12 then this can bring some sort of objectivity to the proceedings.
OSCEs are like a strange twilight zone inversion of real clinical experience. Only in an OSCE does the question, “And what about alcohol?” produce the answer, “Oh I drink about 21 units a week and I've smoked 30 cigarettes a day for 10 years, so that's 15 pack years in total.”
Whereas the sort of information that patients would usually volunteer instantly to any doctor, student, porter,