International Journal of Basic and Applied Physiology



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Objective Structured Practical Examination v/s Traditional Clinical Examination in Human Physiology: Faculty’s perception

Pinaki Wani*, Shobha Kini **, Vrinda Dalvi***

*Asst. Professor, ** Professor, ***Professor- HOD, Department of Physiology, K. J. Somaiya Medical College and Research Centre,



Sion, Mumbai -22, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: Background & Objectives: Traditional clinical examination (TCE) mainly focuses on the “knows” and “knows how” aspects, while Objective structured practical examination (OSPE) focuses on the “shows how” aspect in ‘Miller’s pyramid of competence’. The current study was designed to understand the faculty’s perception of the OSPE in comparison with the TCE in Physiology and whether it would be feasible and what needs to be done to make it acceptable. Method: The study was conducted in the Department of Physiology at the K.J. Somaiya Medical College, Mumbai, India after the approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee with 50 first year MBBS medical students. At the end of the 4 days of TCE- OSPE session, the faculty members answered an open ended questionnaire regarding their experience on objectivity, reliability, validity and feasibility of TCE and OSPE as the assessment tools. Results: All the faculty members felt that the OSPE is a relevant, unbiased and a fair tool for the formative assessment which emphasised on the aspects of objectivity and structured checklist standardization. OSPE actually helped students understand what they really need to do in the clinical skills performance testing and what skills are important. OSPE highlighted the areas of weaknesses and fallacies during the clinical skills setting. Overall the OSPE was perceived as a relevant tool along with TCE for overall assessment of students. Participating faculty members also felt that the successful incorporation of a new assessment tool could positively motivate other faculty members towards innovations in the field of medical education. Interpretation & Conclusion: We conclude that the objectivity, reliability and standardization of OSPE along with the comprehensive global assessment approach of the traditional clinical assessment are required for an overall judgement of the performance by the medical students.




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