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S1306 Virtual Pivot: Gastroenterology Fellows’ Perception of a Teleconferencing Platform to Conduct Objective Structured Clinical Examinations

Lee, Briton MD; Williams, Renee MD, FACG; Weinshel, Elizabeth MD; Zabar, Sondra MD; Malter, Lisa MD

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The American Journal of Gastroenterology: October 2021 - Volume 116 - Issue - p S602
doi: 10.14309/01.ajg.0000778756.38856.4a
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The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) has been shown to not only assess but also improve the performance of trainees. Our group has previously demonstrated the benefits of OSCEs to assess gastroenterology (GI) fellows. We have successfully assessed performance across numerous milestones. Typically, OSCEs are held in person, however the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated the need for virtual learning. We accordingly transitioned to a virtual zoom OSCE (Z-OSCE) and evaluated trainees’ perception of this program.


Fourteen first- and second-year GI fellows from five programs across multiple states participated in a four-station virtual OSCE on Zoom. Afterwards, participants answered a survey to share their perspectives and provide feedback. Learners were asked to rate the usefulness of the virtual OSCE and compare it to other in-person and virtual educational modalities. These questions were rated on a 10-point Likert scale (Figure 1). Additionally, free-text responses regarding any aspect of the OSCE were evaluated for comments on the virtual format.


In comparing the usefulness of the virtual OSCE to other in-person modalities, trainees rated it a mean of 7.15 (range 5-10), and 31% of respondents rated it a 9 or 10. Trainees rated the virtual OSCE compared to other virtual learning modalities a mean of 8.15 (range 5-10), and 43% rated it 9 or 10. When asked whether they would recommend this OSCE as a training tool, the trainees gave a mean recommendation of 7.77 (range 5-10), and 38% gave a 9 or 10. General feedback regarding the nature of the OSCE noted the virtual format worked well, orientation to the format was important and could be improved by providing it in an email beforehand.


Virtual learning has been necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is crucial to evaluate the value of the novel Z-OSCE. Participants found the virtual OSCE may be more useful than in-person learning modalities and it compared favorably to other virtual learning modalities. One benefit of this modality was the easier inclusion of fellows from geographically disparate areas negating the need to travel for this program, a benefit given lack of universal access to simulation using standardized patients. To improve future exams, orientation prior to the day of the OSCE may improve trainees’ experiences.

Figure 1.:
Ten-point Likert scale evaluating learner feedback on the virtual OSCE.

© 2021 by The American College of Gastroenterology