OSCE Preparation


All students will return to the Chapel Hill campus to take the OSCE, which is held on the last Thursday of the rotation.  Students at distant sites (Area L, Asheville, Cabarrus, Charlotte, and Wilmington) should be dismissed from their offices after clinic ends on Tuesday evening (after 5pm) so they are able to return to Chapel Hill Wednesday morning. The students in Chapel Hill and Greensboro should be dismissed at noon on Wednesday.

Report to the Clinical Skills Center, 3rd Floor, Berryhill Hall, Room 302, for the OSCE. You will be notified of your group assignment and time in advance. This schedule CANNOT be altered. If, for some emergency, you can't be there call the Department of Family Medicine (966-3711) and ask for Carolyn Joines (966-2824, direct).

The information below will help you better prepare for the OSCE. Please read the section in detail.

The Family Medicine OSCE is a 5-patient examination that uses simulated patients to test student's clinical reasoning skills. Each student will see five Standardized Patient (SP) cases, one chronic, two acute and two patient education. Students will have 40 minutes to complete the chronic and acute cases and 20 minutes for each patient education case.

The two acute cases will come from this list of common acute complaints:  Abdominal pain, Chest Pain, Cough, Dizziness, Dyspnea or Wheezing, Dysuria, Headache, Nausea/Vomiting, Pelvic Pain, URI Sx (Earache, nasal congestion, sore throat) and Vaginal Bleeding/Discharge/Irritation.

The chronic case will come from this list of common chronic conditions: Asthma, COPD, Chronic Kidney Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Depression, Diabtetes Mellitus Type 2, Hypertension.

The two patient education cases will come from the following options: insulin education, general flu vaccine recommendations, contraception counseling, medication reconciliation, general adult dietary guidelines, inhaler teaching, smoking cessation and vaccine safety.

Please use the following resources as you prepare for the OSCE. A Powerpoint Presentation explains the components of the OSCE in more detail, including the actual questions asked on the OSCE. A very short video of the OSCE walks you through the logistics. For each case the Standardized Patients evaluate your interpersonal skills using 10 questions that were developed using the Master Interview Rating Scale.  The ePSS tool on USPSTF website is an excellent way to learn Grade A recommendations for various patient groups. You can find a list of all Grade A and B recommendations at this link.  Similar to the STEP 2 OSCE, you will not be permitted to take notes, blank paper, cell phones or other electronic aids into the exam. Like STEP 2 OSCE, you will not be allowed to re-enter the room after you have completed the history and physical.

The OSCE is graded based on student performance during the interview and the physical exam (in cases where physical exam is required) as well as on the answer to the questions students provide during the post-encounter portion of the OSCE. The encounters are video taped to allow review of test if student has concerns. The video tape is not viewed for grading itself.

You should be dressed appropriately to patient care (including a white coat). You should bring a stethoscope. Other diagnostic equipment will be provided, although you should feel free to bring your own diagnostic kits if you wish.