A Multi-Modal Remote Clinical Skills Mini-Course Utilizing a Teaching TeleOSCE

Med Sci Educ. 2021 Jan 7;1-7. doi: 10.1007/s40670-020-01201-x. Online ahead of print.


In the setting of the coronavirus pandemic, medical schools across the world transitioned to a remote learning curriculum with the challenge of developing innovative methods to teach clinical skills. During the pandemic, we designed a 2-week remote clinical skills mini-course for third year medical students. The focus was on clinical reasoning, counseling, and the following the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs): 1 (history and physical exam), 2 (prioritize a differential diagnosis), 3 (recommend and interpret diagnostic tests), and 5 (document a clinical encounter). A multi-modal approach included large and small group virtual case-based discussions, a teaching TeleOSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), and feedback on patient note skills. Students were asked to self-assess their skills before and after the course based on the core EPAs, counseling skills, and overall preparedness for United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Skills exam. Students demonstrated statistically significant increases in mean self-rated scores in all areas except interpreting results of basic studies. They found the teaching TeleOSCE and feedback on their notes the most useful. Future curricula will consider integration of peer-peer remote OSCE practice sessions as well as faculty feedback for individualized learning plans. Lessons learned will be useful for remote structured clinical skills courses in the setting of the pandemic.

Keywords: Clinical skills; Communication skills; Decision-making; OSCE; Undergraduate.