Sixty local and international Dentistry students underwent the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in May 2011, the first of the kind at RSU. The exam was conducted to test the undergraduates’ knowledge in study subjects taught by the departments of Oral Pathology and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
The OSCE model is highly acclaimed and implemented by many of the world’s leading universities that offer medical and healthcare education.
For 45 second year students the examination subject was Topographic Anatomy and Operative Surgery; 15 fourth year students took the exam in Oral Diagnostics and Morphology. The exam concluded with a questionnaire session to find out what the students and the teaching staff would have to say about the usefulness of this particular knowledge test model. The answers were all positive.
Typically to the OSCE model, students are required to go through a range of various simulated situations in a limited time frame, five minutes each, during which they have to show their skill and knowledge. When the bell goes off, the student proceeds to the next situation area. Teaching staff are present in all situation areas to test the accuracy of task fulfilment in the given time frame. The situation simulation, arranged in more than ten instances, puts the student very close to the daily practice of a medical doctor. The OSCE has been introduced in the world’s biggest leading universities to efficiently test the real skill levels of their students excluding any possibility of cheating which may occur, for example, in a written theoretical exam.
Doctor DM Meta Schoonheim-Klein (pictured) from the University of Amsterdam was present at the exam to provide her expertise gained from research on OSCE implementation for dentistry students. Having written her doctoral thesis on the subject, Mrs Schoonheim-Klein’s productive long-term cooperation has been of great help to have the OSCE methodology adapted and implemented at the Faculty. She expressed her approval of the first OSCE conducted at RSU and the training/exam rooms in the Institute of Dentistry.
According to Professor Ingrīda Čēma, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, OSCE implementation at RSU started to take real form in 2007, although the basis for it had been laid in the latter half of the 1990s. ‘It was four years ago that the Faculty’s academic staff themselves took a similar exam in the presence of foreign experts. We had to go through ten test areas inclusive of practical manipulations in therapeutic dentistry, maxillofacial surgery, dental prosthetics and orthodontics. So we share that bit of experience with the students of today: we know what it takes to complete a task in five minutes,’ says Professor Čēma, one of the Faculty’s lecturers who attended a theoretical course on OSCE organisation with a number of international experts in 2007.
Click here to view our collection of photos taken during the exam.