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The OSCE is an assessment format in which the Pharmacy candidates rotate sequentially around a series of structured cases located in ‘stations’, at each of which specific tasks have to be performed, usually involving a clinical skill, such as history taking, examination of a patient or a practical skill. The marking scheme for each station is structured and determined in advance. There is a different examiner and a time limit for each station. The basic structure of an OSCE may be varied in timing for each station, use of checklist or rating scale for scoring, use of clinician or standardised patient as examiner, use of real patients or manikins, but the fundamental principle is that every candidate has to complete the same assignments in the same amount of time and is marked according to a structured marking schedule.

The use of OSCEs in the quantitative assessment of competence has become widespread in the field of Pharmd. The main reasons are the high reliability of this assessment format and the equity that results from all candidates being presented with the same test.

OSCE is designed to be:

objective - all candidates are assessed using exactly the same stations (although if real patients are used, their signs may vary slightly) with the same marking scheme. In an OSCE, candidates get marks for each step on the mark scheme that they perform correctly, which therefore makes the assessment of clinical skills more objective, rather than subjective.
structured - stations in OSCEs have a very specific task. Where simulated patients are used, detailed scripts are provided to ensure that the information that they give is the same to all candidates, including the emotions that the patient should use during the consultation. Instructions are carefully written to ensure that the candidate is given a very specific task to complete. The OSCE is carefully structured to include parts from all elements of the curriculum as well as a wide range of skills.
clinical examination - The OSCE is designed to apply clinical and theoretical knowledge. Where theoretical knowledge is required, for example, answering questions from the examiner at the end of the station, then the questions are standardised and the candidate is only asked questions that are on the mark sheet and if the candidate is asked any others then there will be no marks for them.

For Indian PharmD Students OSCE will be the new experience of handling the clerkship and practical examination
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