students listening to an instructor prior to a doctoring course

OSCE Facilitator Feedback


The Purpose of MS-3 OSCE Formative Feedback

The formative Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) conducted during the third year provides medical students with an opportunity to practice their patient interviewing and examination skills in a safe low-stakes setting.The formative OSCE is a chance for students to bring together what they learned in clinical skills and doctoring and blend them into a cohesive whole.

During the third-year formative OSCE students receive feedback from both the Standardized Patient (SP) and the facilitator.This information helps students identify strengths (what they do well) and weaknesses (targeted areas that require work). Students can use this feedback as a means for growth along their way to becoming a physician.

The Formative Feedback Process

Feedback occurs immediately following the simulated patient exam. Twelve minutes have been allocated for feedback: The SP has the first two minutes to provide feedback using the Five Steps to Feedback and the facilitator has the remaining ten minutes.

The SP provides the student feedback about what they experienced during the encounter from the perspective of the patient they portrayed. SP feedback is based on observable behaviors — what they SP heard, saw, and felt during the encounter. Facilitators can incorporate the SP feedback into what they observed to create a teachable moment

Formative Feedback Rx for Facilitators

Good formative feedback provides the student with a clear picture of where they currently are and where they need to go. Armed with this information, the facilitator and the student work together to develop a plan to help the student close the gap in performance.

Use ESP to Maximize Impact

ESP stands for Elicit, Support, and Plan, and is a mnemonic facilitators can use to deliver the maximum amount of value with their feedback in a limited amount of time.


Rx for Providing Formative Feedback

Get an understanding of how the student felt the encounter went — What does the student think they did well? What do they feel they could improve upon? Find out why the think / feel this way. Ask them for examples from the encounter.

Briefly, reinforce what the student did well. Spend most of the time covering areas needing improvement. Is there a skill or technique you can demonstrate? If so, ask the SP to stay.

Be specific regarding items on the checklist.

Note: you will not have enough time to go through each item, instead use these categories to frame your feedback. Ask yourself, based on what I observed (seen and heard) what areas should the student focus on going forward?

  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Clinical skills
  • Clinical knowledge
  • Patient Physician Interaction (PPI) / Communication

Work with the student to come up with a plan for addressing their areas in need of improvement — Where should the student focus their attention? Are some knowledge / skill deficiencies more critical than others? Allow the student to ask clarifying questions. Look for opportunities where the student can practice any skill deficiencies. Direct the student toward relevant resources.