Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Physician Assistant Education


Laura Witte, PhD, PA-C


Physician assistant (PA) programs commonly utilize objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and/or objective structured long examination records (OSLERs) throughout didactic training to evaluate students' clinical knowledge and skills. While a vast amount of research has been conducted to verify the success of each of these assessment strategies, there is limited discussion directly comparing the two methodologies. The purpose of this literature review is to determine the respective strengths and weaknesses of each technique and their implications for student success. Ultimately, it is found that while there are benefits and limitations to each, both assessment techniques should be strategically utilized within a curriculum to maximize student outcomes. This will allow PA educators to better evaluate students under a broad range of settings in order to produce high-quality, competent providers.


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