Validity Evidence for Medical School OSCEs: Associations With USMLE®Step Assessments

Ting Dong*, Kimberly A. Swygert, Steven J. Durning, Aaron Saguil, William R. Gilliland, David Cruess, Kent J. DeZee, Jeffrey LaRochelle, Anthony R. Artino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Recently, there has been a surge in the use of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) at medical schools around the world, and with this growth has come the concomitant need to validate such assessments. Purposes: The current study examined the associations between student performance on several school-level clinical skills and knowledge assessments, including two OSCEs, the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME) Subject Examinations, and the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) and Step 3 assessments. Methods: The sample consisted of 806 medical students from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. We conducted Pearson correlation analysis as well as stepwise multiple linear regression modeling to examine the strength of associations between students’ performance on 2nd- and 3rd-year OSCEs and their two Step 2 CS component scores and Step 3 scores. Results: Positive associations were found between the OSCE variables and the USMLE scores; in particular, student performance on both the 2nd- and 3rd-year OSCEs was more strongly associated with the two Step 2 CS component scores than with Step 3 scores. Conclusions: These findings, although preliminary, provide some predictive validity evidence for the use of OSCEs in determining readiness of medical students for clinical practice and licensure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) step assessment
  • objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • validity


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