OSCE Circuit

The purpose of the OSCE circuit is on process thinking and judgment and the focus is on decision making. The candidates are faced with cases and/or clinical pathways representing the breadth of general surgery. The circuit may include the evaluation of relevant manual skills (e.g. simulation).

The clinical pathways presented are structured beforehand and constitute common problems seen in general surgery practice. The cases follow real clinical situations; patients are anonymized.

In the OSCE circuit candidates should be able to answer not only what they would do and how, but why.

The circuit consists of a 6 stations (10 min each; total duration of circuit: 60 min) where candidates will be confronted with clinical situations.

Each candidate will visit each station where he/she will be assessed by an examiner and may be asked to give an oral or written answer respectively.

The circuit will include all types of laboratory investigations, x-rays, CT, MRI and ultrasonography scans and pictures from typical clinical situations to interpret.

The candidates may also be asked to demonstrate practical abilities.

The individual time schedule for the OSCE circuit is established after the MSQ-test (6 candidates per hour maximum). Candidates appear prior to their randomly assigned starting time. After finishing the OSCE circuit candidates have to collect and wait separated from pre-OSCE candidates until the last round of the circuit has commenced.

Sample stations are published on the website www.uemssurg.org.

In the OSCE listen carefully to each case presented, read all information thoroughly and respond with your own plan or actions to resolve it. The examiners want to find out what you would do in your own practice. Tell them what you would do and not what you think they may want you to say. Be prepared to defend your plans and actions with acceptable logic. If you honestly do not know anything about a problem, it is recommended that you say so. This will allow the examiners to proceed to other problems with which you may be more conversant.

In particular, the examiner will assess:

  • Can the candidate recognize a basic problem?
  • Can the candidate gather and analyze data relative to that problern in an efficient way?
  • Can the candidate use that data in an organized and logical fashion to arriveexpeditiously at a diagnosis?
  • Can the candidate choose realistic, effective, and safe solutions  (including nonoperative ones) to the  problem?
  • If multiple options are available for treatment of a given problem, can the candidate evaluate these  logically and efficiently, and choose the one that is optimal and least hazardous  to the patient?
  • Can the candidate recognize the Iong-term risks/benefits of the solutions chosen?
  • Does the  candidate react in a prompt  but flexible manner to alterations in the  patient's course, e.g., disease or treatment  complications?
  • Does the candidate know the technical aspects of the procedures he or she will employ?

At the end of a each OSCE circuit station, each examiner independently records a grade based on his or her evaluation of the candidate's performance.

Wolfgang Feil
President of the European Board of Surgery
Honorary & Foundation President of the Division of General Surgery