OSCE becomes Remote Clinical Exam

This November 2020 was the first time the OSCE was replaced by a new online format, the Remote Clinical Exam.

Goodbye OSCE, hello Remote Clinical Exam

Conducting patient consultations is a fundamental role of a medical professional.

For 25 years, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has held the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. 


About the Remote Clinical Exam 

In November 2020, the OSCE was replaced by the Remote Clinical Exam (RCE). This was a new online format for the OSCE and is the result of COVID-19. 

Candidates logged into a computerised examination centre for the RCE.

The exam assessed a candidate’s competency at unsupervised general practice. The RCE mimics a patient consultation (albeit online) and assesses communication skills, clinical skills, and decision making, and professional attitudes.  

Over three separate days, candidates sitting the RCE were presented with 4 separate cases, making a total of 12 cases.

In each case, candidates were given a standard patient consultation time of 10 minutes, with five minutes reading time.

There were known to be four types of cases in the RCE.

1. Case-based Discussion

The student were given the patient summary and some patient medical history. The examiner will then ask the student several questions.

2. Simulated Patient Consultation

Actors performed as patients with on observer watching and assessing the communication, and clinical skills, professionalism, and decision making of the student.

3. Case-based Discussion with a Physical Examination or Procedure

The student was given the patient summary. The patient required a physical examination or procedure. The student discussed the case with the examiner and described how they would conduct the physical examination or procedure.

4. Critical appraisal and case-based discussion with reference to a research paper.

A week prior to the exam, students were given one or more academic research papers. They were then asked how to apply the research findings in a specific patient context.

Core Skills Being Assessed

The core skills, which need to be demonstrated throughout the Remote Clinical Exam relate to:

  • Communication and consultation skills
  • Clinical information gathering
  • Diagnostic skills, reasoning and decision making
  • Clinical management
  • Preventative and population health 
  • Professionalism
  • Procedural skills
  • General practice systems and requirements
  • Identifying and managing seriously ill patients 

Candidates for the Remote Clinical Exam needed to be prepared for discussion of medico-legal and ethical aspects involved in patient consultations in Australia.

The RACGP released a webinar on YouTube for more information about the Remote Clinical Exam. 

It is also expected that the exam may change again. 

Don’t just Study, MEKSI

Prepare for these types of medical exams by practicing your patient consultations with the MEKSI simulator. 

MEKSI is aligned to Australian and global clinical guidelines and offers instant,  comprehensive feedback.

Free trail case


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