Friday, March 10, 2006

The Six Competencies required in OSCE Exams

I hope you had read the six general competencies. What does that mean to your OSCE Exam preparation?

Well not every thing can be taught. You have to understand the general role that you have to perform as a physician and use your background with all its experiences, culture and personal differences.

You are not nothing. You don't have to rebuild your approach from scratch. Just make sure that what you have is good for you or not and take it from there. There are always room for improvement in every aspect of us.

Let me list them and explain each competency in relation to the your OSCE Exam. This is not my personal idea. This what your regulatory bodies want us to do:

1- Patient Care:

In your OSCE, you should show them your ability to:
- Interact with the patient and their family in a caring and respectful manner.
- Effective non-leading non-judgmental approach for history taking. e.g verbal and non verbal communications.
- Medical interview skills. e.g. organize the interview structure and keep in control.
- Patient informed decision making.
- Counsel and educate patients and their families interactively. e.g don't lecture them
- Develop and carry out un agreed upon management plans. e.g. engage the patient and family.
Preventive health service. e.g. advice for stop smoking.
- Work as a team with other health professionals. e.g. offer referral to other community health resources and YOU will arrange that IF they agree.
- Use information technology. e.g offer printed information, website addresses, classes for further information.


2- Medical Knowledge:


- Cover the differential diagnosis: Never focus on one diagnoses even if it is obvious.
- Pick up a working diagnosis. Suggest the diagnosis but need to confirm with investigations.
- Investigations to differentiate. Use with patient comfort, benefit, risk, and cost in your mind. Evidence based and cost to the health system. Always be able to answer why to order this test?
- Analytic thinking and clinical decision making. e.g develop flow charts to follow in your management plan.


3- Practice based learning and development:


- Analyze your current way on clinical practice. e.g Watch yourself and ask friends to watch you. Ask for constructive feedback. Look for resources to analyze your current verbal and non verbal communications.
- Improve your skills using proven measures. How to improve the good ones and how to change the bad ones.
- Practice, Practice, and more practice until the new approach becomes your routine everyday approach.


4- Interpersonal and communication skills:


- Develop your listening skills. Be attentive to the patient and never interrupt.
- Create rapport with patient. Develop an ethical relationship.
- Work effectively with other health care professionals. Common OSCE station, a pharmacist who refuses to fill your subscription of the morning after pill to a teenage that he knows.


5- Professionalism:


- Demonstrate respect, compassion, responsiveness to patient needs. Lots of check marks.
- Commitment to ethics like confidentiality, informed consult, business conflicts. Lot of OSCEs.
- Sensitive to culture, age, gender, disabilities (Diversity). Lot of OSCE scenarios.


6- System based practice:


- Practice cost effective care. Be prepared for Why you ordered this test.
- Assist patients to access and coordinate other healthcare providers. Offer to arrange appointments for your referrals.


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I hope you found this valuable. You know now why that OSCE station is there and what do they want us to do in it.

Keep these points in your unconscious mind while you practice and practice. With time you will adopt them.

All of these points have been taken into considerations in our ebooks.


Best wishes for your OSCE exam preparation.


Dr Alimari, MD
www.OSCEhome.com


P.S: Please feel free to forward this information e-mail to your medical colleagues.

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