•••quote:•••Originally posted by Annette:
•suck it up. At least you don't have to pay $1200 and travel to Philadelphia for them.•••••Man, I'm with you on that. I'm in the class of 2005 and it looks like we'll be the first to have to fork it over for this thing.
Not only do I not want to pay the extra $1,000 to include the OSCE, I'm not looking forward to the travel expenses to go across the friggin' country to take it.
Plus, I think it is unnecessary. I'm a student in a Texas school and I'm pretty sure it is impossible for any Texas student to graduate without passing many of these exact tests throughout our curriculum. I suspect that many schools in other states require the same thing.
BTW, I actually don't mind the school OSCEs. While they aren't fun, they do asses something that is obviously important to being a good doctor.
I don't know if you are a member of AMSA, but they are really trying to lobby against the mandatory OSCE (I get the emails since I joined for the free Netters :wink: ). Their main complaint is the additional cost to the students. Anyways, at least to me, it's one of their few platforms that I actually care about. If you go the AMSA website, you can probably get more info. about this.
An OSCE is a clinical test where you see people acting like patients, go in and take a limited history and/or physical exam (instructions on what you are expected to do are given prior to entering a room). The "patients" then grade you on factors ranging from communication skills and history taking to doing the correct physical exam steps. We had them on Medicine and Peds and it will become a requirement for graduation soon. I actually enjoyed these sessions a lot. I'm glad I'm taking the Step II on Monday and won't have to spend the extra money.
There are currently OSCEs at most schools for grades in the clinical year and in some there is a separate one needed for graduation. The discussion about Philadelphia refers to the plan to make an OSCE part of the USMLE Step II exam in the future (I think 2005). In order to do this, the fee for the exam will increase from $400 to over $1000 (gotta pay the actors) and the students will be expected to go to a centralized location to take the exam. One of these locations is Philadelphia (I'm not sure but I think there will be other regional ones).
There is a lot of opposition to this by medical students who are already paying high tuition costs and living on $1000 a month in loans. They will have to take out additional loans for the costs of this test and the trip.