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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 310-313

Objective structured clinical examination vs traditional clinical examination: An evaluation of students' perception and preference in a Nigerian medical school

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Nkeiruka Ameh
P O Box 76, Zaria - 810 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.137191

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Background: Method of testing clinical competence of medical students in this setting has been controversial. This report evaluates the perceptions and preferences of 5 th and 6 th year medical students about traditional clinical examination (TCE) and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using a structured questionnaire, administered to 156 students, who had been previously exposed to TCE and OSCE. Results: There were 110 (70.5%) males and 46 (29.5%) females, with median age group of 26-30 years. One hundred and thirty-one respondents (84%) felt TCE is more difficult and 20 (12.8%) felt OSCE was more difficult. One hundred and forty-two (91%) felt OSCE was easier to pass, 8 (5.1%) felt TCE was easier to pass and 6 (3.8%) were undecided. Majority of the 5 th and 6 th year students (95.5% and 100%, respectively) preferred OSCE for assessment. In relation to validity and reliability of OSCE, 124 (79.5%) of all the students felt it provides a true measure of essential clinical skills, 130 (83.3%) felt its scores are standardised, 143 (91.7%) felt it is a practical and useful experience and 135 (86.5%) felt students' personality, ethnicity and gender will not affect OSCE scores. Overall, there were no significant differences in preference and perceptions between 5 th and 6 th year students and between males and females. Conclusion: Students preferred OSCE as method of assessing clinical competence and considered it a more valid and reliable method of examination.

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