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Turk J Surg. 2018 Jan 3;34(1):9-12. doi: 10.5152/turkjsurg.2017.3681. eCollection 2018.

Objectively structured verbal examination to assess surgical clerkship education: An evaluation of students' perception.

Author information

Department of General Surgery, Jimer Hospital, Bursa, Turkey.
Department of General Surgery Dumlupınar University School of Medicine, Kütahya, Turkey.



The objectivity and reliability of examining methods are controversial. We subjected fourth-year medical students to a specially designed verbal exam which we called objectively structured verbal examination. We aimed to evaluate feedback from students about objectively structured verbal examination as an assessment instrument for gauging their surgical knowledge.

Material and Methods:

Objectively structured verbal examination modules were developed according to the learning goals of the surgical clerkship. Upon finishing surgery rotation, the students were subjected to objectively structured verbal examination as part of their final evaluation. The students' perception of objectively structured verbal examination was assessed by their responses to a questionnaire.


Forty-two of 58 students returned filled questionnaires. Objectively structured verbal examination was accepted by 72% of the students as an objective tool, and 86% of them found it enabled unbiased evaluation. Overall, most students expressed positive feedback regarding objectively structured verbal examination.


The feedback received from students showed that objectively structured verbal examination is a reliable and objective method to assess their knowledge. This feedback reflects that objectively structured verbal examination merits further development and enhancement.


Clinical reasoning; Medical education; exam

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

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