Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acad Med. 2011 Oct;86(10 Suppl):S8-11. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31822a729d.

Who you know or what you know? Effect of examiner familiarity with residents on OSCE scores.

Author information

  • 1Sunnybrook HSC, Rm D4-70a, 2075 Bayview Ave,Toronto, ON M4N 3M5.



Despite the goal of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) to be objective, examiner biases may influence scores. Examiner familiarity with candidates is a potential bias that has not been well studied.


To determine the effect of familiarity, OSCE scores for 158 internal medicine residents were analyzed by whether examiners were familiar with them, based on previous clinical encounters, and if previous impressions were positive or negative. A hierarchical multivariable analysis of variance was performed to control for resident, examiner, and level of training.


Across 480 interactions (50 examiners, 158 residents), multivariable analysis showed that positive familiarity was associated with a significant increase in ratings (+0.37 on a 5-point scale), comparable to the difference between first- and third/fourth-year residents.


Familiarity with candidates is a significant source of examiner bias in OSCE scores. Consideration should be paid to the influence of examiners' previous knowledge of examinees and attempts made to mitigate this bias.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk