Objective: To assess whether final year dental students could act as
reliable examiners within an Objective Structured Clinical Examination
(OSCE) by comparison with results obtained by an experienced member of
staff. Design: A station testing examination of the mouth was included
in the second year medical undergraduate summative OSCE examination.
Setting: Concurrently run in three different examination venues on the
Ninewells Hospital campus. Subjects: 147 medical students and 3 pairs
(A, B, C) of examiners. Each examining pairing consisted of one member
of staff and one dental student (blind to each other's marking). Method:
A checklist of 13 tasks to be performed was provided to the examiners.
One mark awarded for a completed task, no mark for no attempt at the
task, and half a mark for attempt at task. Results: Paired results were
available for 125 medical students. Using Mann-Witney analysis, the
non-parametric 95% confidence intervals for the difference in scores
between the 3 paired teams were group A (-0.5, 0), group B (-0.5, 0.5),
group C (-0.5, 0). In only 4 students (out of 125) did the difference
between the individual pair differ by 2 or more marks. Conclusion: On
the basis of this pilot study final year dental students may be used as
examiners in OSCEs where basic technical skills are to be evaluated.
This development from peer group teaching provides further evidence
supportive of interprofessional education. © British Dental Journal