Today kicked off DEX competency week for second years here at Midwestern. The DEX competency exam requires second year students to prove proficiency in the following clinical areas: radiology, endodontics, periodontics. Additionally, we must all participate in an oral exit interview and pass the OSCE.
We have already completed oral exit interviews and a comprehensive radiology exam. The DEX competency week runs from Monday (today) through Friday. Today was the day of the OSCE.
What’s an OSCE?
Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are a modern form of comprehensive examination in health sciences. Today’s OSCE exam was 70 questions and were given 60 seconds to answer each one.
Each station had an object or an image and a clinical question. Students rotated alone from station to station. Unlike most of our examinations, this one was not multiple choice. I have become so accustomed to checking boxes or filling out bubbles that I forgot what it’s like to write an answer.
Was it hard?
Most of the questions are pretty simple. As long as you paid attention and learned throughout your second year, the OSCE should be a breeze. We all studied up and refreshed our memories beforehand, but you should be ready for this exam by the end of your second year.
The exam covers many topics including: CAD/CAM, anesthesia, removable prosthetics (50% of the exam questions), implants, radiology, and oral pathology. None of the questions are difficult, they just want to be sure you are ready for routine clinical dental work. A passing score on the OSCE is 70% or higher, and the exam is pass/fail.
Several dental schools now use OSCE exams to assess their students’ clinical competency. I think it is a great idea, especially if done right. Although I can think of a few ways I would improve ours, I think it is a pretty accurate assessment of our abilities by now.
In the spirit of paying it forward and helping future dental students (especially at MWU-AZ) I’m sharing our class OSCE study guide. I didn’t create it. My highly esteemed and motivated classmate Rachel deserves that credit. But she has given me permission to share it here. I hope it will help someone!OSCE