Objective Structured Clinical Examination as a Novel Tool in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Fellowship Education

Wolff MJ1, Balzora S, Poles M, Zabar S, Mintah A, Wong L, Weinshel E, Malter LB. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]
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1*Division of Gastroenterology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York; †Division of Gastroenterology, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, New York; ‡Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovations, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York; §Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York; and ‖Department of Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.


BACKGROUND: Experiential learning in medical education, as exemplified by objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), is a well-validated approach for improving trainee performance. Furthermore, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has identified OSCEs as an ideal method for assessing the core competency of interpersonal and communication skills. Here, we describe a novel educational tool, the inflammatory bowel disease OSCE (IBD OSCE), to assess and improve this clinical skill set in Gastroenterology fellows.

METHODS: We developed a 4-station IBD OSCE that assessed shared decision making, physician-physician communication, and physician-patient consultative skills specifically related to the care of patients with IBD. Each station was videotaped and observed live by faculty gastroenterologists. Behaviorally anchored checklists were scored independently by a faculty observer and the standardized patient/physician, who both provided feedback to the fellow immediately after each case. Post-OSCE, fellows attended a debriefing session on patient communication and were surveyed to assess their perspective on the examination's educational value.

RESULTS: Twelve second-year gastroenterology fellows from 5 fellowship programs participated in the IBD OSCE. Fellows performed well in all measured domains and rated the experience highly for its educational value. Fellows cited IBD as an area of relative deficiency in their education compared with other knowledge areas within gastroenterology.

CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first OSCE designed specifically for the evaluation of skills as they relate to IBD management. Using OSCEs for IBD education provides an opportunity to robustly assess core competencies and the role of the physician as an educator.

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