The Introduction of Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCES) to the M.Pharm Degree Pathway

Paul M Rutter


The assessment of clinical competence is fundamental to ensure that graduate pharmacists are able to exercise their duties toward patients. The observed structured clinical exam (OSCE) has been widely adopted by the medical profession to assess student competence and has been introduced at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at Portsmouth University. An eight workstation OSCE was devised to and delivered fourth year M.Pharm students on three occasions. The first two classes were formative, whilstthe final class was summative and contributed to 50% of the end of unit mark. Scores in all eight workstations improved between formative and sessions, some summative significantly. It was also shown that OSCE scores did correlate significantly with the students’ overall end of year mark. Students lrrelieved that the OSCES provided a useful learning experience and wanted them to be included earlier in the programrne.


Observed structured clinical exam; Competence; Assessment

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