Objective: The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) has been recognized not only as a useful assessment tool but also as a valuable method of promoting student learning. Student selfassessment is also seen as a means of helping students recognize their strengths and weaknesses, understand the relevance of core learning objectives and to take more responsibility for each stage of their work. The authors sought to evaluate the accuracy of medical student self-assessment of their performance in the paediatric clerkship OSCE and thus obtain preliminary data for use in programme strengthening.
Design and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by successive groups of students immediately after the OSCE at the end of each clerkship rotation. Students assessed their performance at each station, using a performance rating scale. Performance data were summarized using descriptive and non-parametric tests. Basic statistical analysis of the Likert items was conducted by calculating frequencies, means and standard deviations. Regression analysis was used to correlate selfreported rating and actual performance in each station. A p value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Eighty-one students (92%) completed the questionnaire.
Results: Fifty-eight (72%) of the students achieved greater than minimum competence in their overall scores. Significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) between student self-rating and actual score was noted among the following stations: technical skills, cardiovascular examination, assessment of dysmorphism, dermatology, communication and photographic interpretation stations. Students overestimated their performance in the gastrointestinal examination, radiological and arterial blood gas interpretation. Students underestimated their performance in the following: respiratory system, examination of the head, developmental and nutritional assessment.
Conclusions: The findings highlight the perceived strengths and weaknesses in clinical competence and self-assessment skills and provide direction for programme training needs.