Dr. Amy Oxentenko
Dr. Amy Oxentenko

Introducing a New OSCE Toolkit

Utilizing OSCEs to Teach and Evaluate Fellows’ Performance: A Gastroenterology Fellowship Program Director’s Toolkit

from NYU School of Medicine 

By Amy S. Oxentenko, MD, FACG

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

On behalf of the ACG Educator Task Force, I am very excited to share a unique resource that will be incredibly helpful to GI fellowship program directors and key GI clinical faculty around the country!

Dr. Elizabeth Weinshel and her colleagues at NYU School of Medicine have worked tirelessly to develop a new Toolkit—entitled “Utilizing Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) to Teach and Evaluate Fellows’ Performance”–that will provide a wealth of information and materials to GI program directors in the assessment of trainees.

OSCE Tooklit banner

In recent years, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) rolled out a system that requires training programs to report on the developmental progress of each trainee in their program every six months to ensure they are able to ultimately practice independently. The milestones are based on the observation of various entrustable or observable professional activities. For GI and the other subspecialties of Internal Medicine, 23 such reporting milestones exist, with milestones grouped under the six ACGME clinical competencies.

The ability to appropriately map a trainee’s performance requires a program to have mechanisms in place to observe the behavior and activities of the trainee in practice. This is much easier said than done. Trust me…I do this exercise on nearly 170 trainees every six months! While we all have created evaluation forms to get global assessments on our trainees, it can be challenging to take collected data and confidently translate that into a trainee’s ability to practice at various levels of supervision. Our clinical practices are busy, and we do not often take the time to go into the examination room with a trainee to see how he or she effectively communicates with a patient about testing strategies, diagnoses, or management plans.

Incorporating Simulation into the Assessment of GI Trainees

Dr. Weinshel and her colleagues at NYU School of Medicine developed a Toolkit that is uniquely suited to help GI fellowship program directors with this complex assessment of trainees. When I first saw the blueprint for the OSCE Toolkit, I knew that it would be such a useful product for GI training directors, and wanted to help in whatever way I could to get it into the hands of those who would find it most useful. The OSCE Toolkit includes 20 scenarios that may be seen in a GI practice, such as how to break bad news, apologizing for a complication, shared decision-making when it comes to beginning biologic therapy, and many others.  The Toolkit includes everything a GI training program needs in order to set up the OSCE-based scenarios, including instructions for setup to evaluation and feedback.

“Many GI program directors struggle with how to incorporate simulation into their training programs, and this Toolkit makes it very tangible.”  – Dr. Amy Oxentenko

Many GI program directors struggle with how to incorporate simulation into their training programs, and this Toolkit makes it very tangible. Simulation does not need to be complex or digitalized…it needs to simply allow a trainee to imitate the operation of a real-world process. This accomplishes that goal.

Training directors will be able to look through the Toolkit and consider which scenarios would be ideal to run through in their program based on where they may have gaps in experience or assessment. It also provides a great way for faculty and simulated patients to give feedback to trainees about their communication skills. Trainees often struggle with the clinical scenarios around which the Toolkit was based, making it perfectly suited to meet the needs of our learners as well.

The ACG Education Universe is the ideal place to house the Toolkit, along with other educational resources. I want to personally thank Dr. Weinshel and her colleagues at NYU School of Medicine for making this resource available to all of us, and also a big “thank you” to the ACG Educator Task Force who helped review and edit the final content. I hope you enjoy it!

GI Training Directors: Learn More about the NYU OSCE Toolkit