A Core Competency–based Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Can Predict Future Resident Performance


  • Disclosures: The authors have no disclosures or conflicts of interest to report.

  • Supervising Editor: Terry Kowalenko, MD.

Address for correspondence and reprints: Joshua Wallenstein, MD; e-mail: jwalle2@emory.edu.


Objectives:  This study evaluated the ability of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) administered in the first month of residency to predict future resident performance in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies.

Methods:  Eighteen Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY-1) residents completed a five-station OSCE in the first month of postgraduate training. Performance was graded in each of the ACGME core competencies. At the end of 18 months of training, faculty evaluations of resident performance in the emergency department (ED) were used to calculate a cumulative clinical evaluation score for each core competency. The correlations between OSCE scores and clinical evaluation scores at 18 months were assessed on an overall level and in each core competency.

Results:  There was a statistically significant correlation between overall OSCE scores and overall clinical evaluation scores (R = 0.48, p < 0.05) and in the individual competencies of patient care (R = 0.49, p < 0.05), medical knowledge (R = 0.59, p < 0.05), and practice-based learning (R = 0.49, p < 0.05). No correlation was noted in the systems-based practice, interpersonal and communication skills, or professionalism competencies.

Conclusions:  An early-residency OSCE has the ability to predict future postgraduate performance on a global level and in specific core competencies. Used appropriately, such information can be a valuable tool for program directors in monitoring residents’ progress and providing more tailored guidance.

ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:S67–S71 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine