Using the Objective Structured Clinical Examination to Assess ACGME Competencies in Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellows

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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has described 6 core competencies with which trainees should demonstrate proficiency. Using the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), we aimed to assess 4 of these competencies among Pediatric Gastrointestinal (GI) fellows (PGs).


Eight first-year PGs from 6 medical centers in the New York area participated in a 4-station OSCE with trained standardized patient (SP) actors. The cases included an emergency department (ED) consult, or “ED Consult” for lower gastrointestinal bleeding; “Breaking Bad News” focusing on CF nutritional complications; “Second Opinion” for abdominal pain; “Transition of Care” for inflammatory bowel disease. At each station, attending faculty observed the encounters behind a 1-way mirror. SPs and faculties provided immediate feedback to the examined fellows. Previously validated OSCE checklists were used to assess performance. On completion, fellows attended debriefing sessions and completed surveys about the educational value.


Median overall milestone competency scores were 6.9 (PC1), 4.8 (PC2), 5.9 (MK1), 5.7 (MK2), 6.4 (ICS1), 6.9 (Prof1), and 6.7 (Prof3). Overall, fellows score highest (7/9) on the inflammatory bowel disease “Transition of Care” case, found the “Breaking Bad News” Cystic Fibrosis OSCE to be the most challenging, and were most comfortable with the “ED Consult” OSCE, as a commonly encountered scenario. Overall, the fellows rated the educational value of the program highly.


To our knowledge, although the OSCE has been validated in other medical fields, this is the first OSCE program developed for PGs fellows. These OSCEs have included Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies, serving to assess fellows’ skills in these areas while exposing them to challenging medical and psychosocial cases that they may not frequently encounter.

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