OSCE Preparation


All students will return to the Chapel Hill campus to take the OSCE in March (exact date to be determined.)

Report to the Clinical Skills Center 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 (919-966-3711) and ask for Carolyn Joines (919-966-2824, direct).

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

The Family Medicine OSCE is a 3-patient examination that uses simulated patients to test student's clinical reasoning skills. Each student will see three Standardized Patient (SP) cases, 1 chronic and 2 acute. Students will have 40 minutes to complete each case.

The 2 acute cases will come from the list of common acute complaints found in Appendix A under Learning Objectives (left side bar) and include Abdominal pain, Anxiety, Chest Pain, Cough, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Dyspnea or Wheezing, Dysuria, Eye complaints (Discharge, Pain, Redness), Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Joint/extremity pain, Menstrual Irregularities, Nausea/Vomiting, Pelvic Pain, Rash, URI Sx (Earache, nasal congestion, sore throat) and Vaginal Bleeding/Discharge/Irritation.

The chronic case will come from the list of common chronic conditions found in Appendix B under Learning Objectives (left side bar) and include Arthritis, Astham, COPD, Chronic Kidney Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Depression, Diabtetes Mellitus Type 2, Hypertension, Osteoporosis.

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. The Standard Relationship Checklist is used by the SP in the FM OSCE to assess relationship skills. If you follow the link pay attention to the standard checklist not the extended checklist. The ePSS tool on USPSTF website is an excellent way to learn Grade A recommendations for various patient groups. 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 dress appropriate 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.

You will receive your OSCE scores and feedback on your performance from Dr. Latessa at a later date.