UHS Overhauls Practical Exam System with New Objective Formats

The University of Health Sciences (UHS) is set to transform the landscape of medical education with its latest decision to overhaul the practical examination system in medical colleges. This significant move, endorsed by both the Academic Council and Boards of Studies of UHS, marks a shift from the conventional viva voce exams to a more structured and objective approach.

The groundbreaking change was finalized during a collaborative meeting between the Academic Council and the Boards, chaired by VC Prof Ahsan Waheed Rathore. The new system will incorporate the Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE), Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), and, most notably, the Objective Structured Viva Examination (OSVE).

OSVE, a novel addition to the examination format in Pakistan, has been internationally recognized for its efficacy in assessing students. Unlike traditional methods, OSVE emphasizes a comprehensive evaluation of students’ understanding of concepts and their ability to professionally articulate this knowledge. This format is designed around a series of ‘stations’, each focusing on specific learning objectives, offering a more holistic assessment of students’ capabilities.

While OSPE and OSCE are already part of the evaluation process, the introduction of OSVE is a pioneering step for Pakistan’s medical education sector. This year marks the inaugural application of this format, with first-year MBBS students undergoing practical exams across 12 observed stations as per the university’s new modular curriculum.

The structure of these stations is meticulously planned, with seven dedicated to OSPE, three to OSCE, and two to OSVE. Each station will be under the watchful eye of external examiners, ensuring an unbiased and rigorous assessment process. This new system departs from the traditional practice, as regular teachers of the students will no longer serve as internal examiners.

This innovative approach by UHS is not just a change in the examination format; it represents a significant leap towards enhancing the quality and integrity of medical education in Pakistan. By adopting these advanced and objective assessment methods, UHS is setting a new standard in medical education, ensuring that future medical professionals are evaluated comprehensively and fairly, ready to face the challenges of modern healthcare.

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