Educational Innovation in Traditional Chinese Medicine - The Use of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations for Evaluating and Teaching Clinical Skills

Ying-Ling CHEN
Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

Mark C. HOU
Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan

Yi-Jung TUNG
Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan


Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) have been applied extensively in professional healthcare training. This paper describes the initial use of teaching OSCEs in the educational conext of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Taiwan. We developed 6 to 8- station OSCE's according to the core competencies in TCM clinical practice. Senior undergraduate medical students and first-year resident doctors (N=37) in the Chinese Medical Department of Changhua Christian Hospital participated in the regular teaching of OSCEs during 2011-2013. Students received immediate feedback from clinician-teachers at the end of each OSCE station. Trained standardized patients (SPs) were used in this study to give feedback on communication skills. In this study, we surveyed all students, SPs and clinician-teachers on their experience and value in teaching OSCEs. Participating students were from the School of Chinese Medicine which included Single-Licensed Program (N=11), Two-Licensed Program (eligible for both the Chinese and Western medical doctor license examination) (N=7), and the School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine (N=19), representing the main college programs in TCM education in Taiwan. All students agreed that teaching OSCE was helpful to their future clinical practice and subsequently felt it was more practical compared to traditional written examinations. Students also appreciated the direct, real-time feedback at the end of each OSCE station. Moreover, clinician-teachers and SPs valued the experience of interaction with students during teaching of the OSCEs. Hence, OSCE as an assessment and as a teaching tool at the same time is also more cost-effective. Finally, the application of OSCE is seen as an educational innovation in traditional Chinese medicine for evaluating and teaching clinical skills.

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