Objectives: We evaluated the reliability and predictive ability of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in the assessment of medical students at the completion of a neurology clerkship. Methods: We analyzed data from 195 third-year medical students who took the OSCE. For each student, the OSCE consisted of 2 standardized patient encounters. The scores obtained from each encounter were compared. Faculty clinical evaluations of each student for 2 clinical inpatient rotations were also compared. Hierarchical regression analysis was applied to test the ability of the averaged OSCE scores to predict standardized written examination scores and composite clinical scores. Results: Students' OSCE scores from the 2 standardized patient encounters were significantly correlated with each other (r = 0.347, p < 0.001), and the scores for all students were normally distributed. In contrast, students' faculty clinical evaluation scores from 2 different clinical inpatient rotations were uncorrelated, and scores were skewed toward the highest ratings. After accounting for clerkship order, better OSCE scores were predictive of better National Board of Medical Examiners standardized examination scores (R 2Δ = 0.131, p < 0.001) and of better faculty clinical scores (R2Δ=0.078, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Student assessment by an OSCE provides a reliable and predictive objective assessment of clinical performance in a neurology clerkship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology