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Br Dent J. 2000 Aug 12;189(3):160-4.

The use of interprofessional peer examiners in an objective structured clinical examination: can dental students act as examiners?

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Section of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, University of Dundee.



To assess whether final year dental students could act as reliable examiners within an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) by comparison with results obtained by an experienced member of staff.


A station testing examination of the mouth was included in the second year medical undergraduate summative OSCE examination.


Concurrently run in three different examination venues on the Ninewells Hospital campus.


147 medical students and 3 pairs (A, B, C) of examiners. Each examining pairing consisted of one member of staff and one dental student (blind to each other's marking).


A checklist of 13 tasks to be performed was provided to the examiners. One mark awarded for a completed task, no mark for no attempt at the task, and half a mark for attempt at task.


Paired results were available for 125 medical students. Using Mann-Witney analysis, the non-parametric 95% confidence intervals for the difference in scores between the 3 paired teams were group A (-0.5, 0), group B (-0.5, 0.5), group C (-0.5, 0). In only 4 students (out of 125) did the difference between the individual pair differ by 2 or more marks.


On the basis of this pilot study final year dental students may be used as examiners in OSCEs where basic technical skills are to be evaluated. This development from peer group teaching provides further evidence supportive of interprofessional education.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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