This last month has been a little more busier than usual for this trimester. We just had midterms before break, and this trimester we don’t have very many exams aside from midterms and finals. Most of our points come from projects or homework assignments, which is a big change from previous trimesters.
I also took the clinical portion of the OSCE exam. The OSCE exam is a test all students have to take to clear for Level One clinic, and it just assesses you’re skills in a clinical setting and with patient care. It’s a pretty big deal and with it comes a lot of stress. The whole exam is recorded and after you’re graded you have to watch yourself and evaluation how you think you did. I went into the exam very nervous because it’s compared to Part IV of the National Boards and, well, we need to pass to clear for the outpatient clinic.
I am here to tell you from experience the OSCE exam is not scary. After I finished taking the test I was a little angry at myself for how nervous and stressed out I was about it. We are very well-prepared in our education that essentially the clinical portion of our education comes very naturally.
That being said, you should still study for the exam. It covers a lot of material and really makes you think about how you would handle real patient situations. There are three patient cases, you have to take a detailed history, perform orthopedic exams then answer some questions on how you would provide management for your patient. The kicker is you’re timed, and if you finish up asking questions or performing the exams before the time is up, you have to demonstrate your interpersonal skills with small talk.
Small talk is not one of my greatest skills. There were a lot of awkward silences during my exam. It definitely got better by the third patient case, but you can only talk about the weather for so long! Awkward silences and all, I was able to get through the test with no real issues.