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Surveying Students' Attitudes During the OSCE.

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Office of Educational Development, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Slot 595, 4301 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA; E-mail: Email:


This study assessed students' attitudes, students' level of confidence and the importance of faculty feedback during an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). A survey was administered as one of 15 OSCE stations to 138 sophomore medical students. Eight of the twelve survey items were Likert type items with a follow-up open-ended question. The remaining four items required only an open-ended response. The five surveyors participated in the design of the questionnaire and in training to insure reliable information acquisition and recording. The OSCE was given in five identical tracks in a single day. Each surveyor interviewed either 27 or 28 students during the four-hour period of the track. The Likert responses to the eight items were analyzed and statistical comparisons made for each question. The open-ended responses were analyzed using qualitative summary techniques and compared to the Likert responses.Statistical analyses of the Likert based items showed students had high levels of confidence in their ability to conduct physical examinations and histories, found faculty feedback helpful and informative, but were nervous throughout the examination. The qualitative analysis provided additional information regarding students' feelings about the OSCE, their levels of confidence, their stress levels and the importance of faculty feedback during the examination.Results of the survey suggest curricular changes which could be made in preparation for the OSCE and for a new Introduction to Clinical Medicine course currently in its first year in the College of Medicine.


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