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Med Teach. 2017 May 27:1-5. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1332361. [Epub ahead of print]

Group observed structured encounter (GOSCE) for third-year medical students improves self-assessment of clinical communication.

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a Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine , Bronx , NY , USA.
b Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine , Bronx , NY , USA.



This study assesses the effectiveness of a GOSCE in teaching medical students clinical communication, as well as group collaboration and peer feedback.


The GOSCE was administered during the Internal Medicine clerkship. Groups consisted of 4-6 students and one faculty member. Students completed pre- and post-GOSCE surveys to assess confidence in clinical communication and a GOSCE evaluation to rate the overall experience. Pre- and post-GOSCE program survey scores were compared, and the mean score and standard deviation of the GOSCE evaluation was calculated.


Students perceived improvement in their general (Mean 4.49-4.57, p < .0001), case-specific (3.61-3.84, p < .0001) and group clinical communication (3.75-4.09, p < .0001) skills. Students agreed or strongly agreed that the GOSCE taught them something new (91.20%), made them more comfortable in giving (64.31%) and receiving (66.57%) feedback and working with a group (64.22%). Students found the GOSCE to be as effective as an OSCE (70.97%).


A GOSCE is a valuable resource for use in formative assessment of clinical communication, and it offers the benefit of group collaboration and peer feedback. These findings support the broader use of GOSCEs in undergraduate medical education.

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