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Assessing the Feasibility and Utility of An Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) in Radiation Oncology Physics Residency Training

A McNiven1,2*, P Lindsay1,2 , M Davidson2,3 , B Zhang1,2 , R Korol2,3 , S Babic2,3 , K Sixel2,4 , M Giuliani1,2 , (1) Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, (2) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (3) Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, (4) R.S. McLaughlin Durham Reg Cancer Ctr, Oshawa, ON,


(Monday, 7/15/2019) 1:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Room: 301

Purpose: To determine the feasibility and value of using an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) for radiation oncology physics residents, to assess both medical physics and professional competencies.

Methods: Three scenarios were developed for the OSCE that included both core medical physics competencies and non-medical expert CanMEDs roles (including professional, communicator, collaborator, advocate, scholar and leader). Three cases (including stems, scripts and marking rubrics) were developed: 1) patient consult with radiation oncologist regarding appropriate treatment modality, 2) after-hours notification of monthly quality control (QC) test failure, and 3) a physicist called to the linac by therapists after identification of a patient positioning error mid-treatment. Residents completed each case, with evaluators observing each station through a one-way mirror. A post-OSCE survey, about logistics and their perception of the OSCE, was completed by all participants.

Results: Participants included six residents (4 senior, 2 junior) and six faculty (evaluators). Participants included representatives from each of the 5 clinical sites in our program. All participants agreed (agree or strongly agree) that each of the scenarios were realistic, instructions were clear. Residents felt that some of the time limits were tight (Case 2: 2/6), and 1 faculty felt that residents didn’t have enough time for Case 3. Except for the QC case, limited exposure or experience in these types of scenarios was identified by all trainees, who agreed that the OSCE provided an opportunity to learn about their strengths or weaknesses in clinical scenarios. All faculty agreed that OSCEs would be a valuable addition to the curriculum, perceiving value in observation of residents in inter-professional

Conclusion: The OSCE is a feasible teaching and assessment modality to address both clinical physics and supporting professional competencies in physics residents. Both faculty and residents felt that this exam format would be a valuable addition to the residency curriculum.


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