Two hundred and twenty nine final year medical students were assessed in paediatrics using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and a traditional viva voce examination, and the results were compared with other assessments of the students made during and at the end of the undergraduate course. Results of the OSCE correlated positively with other forms of assessment and more strongly than the viva voce examination. There was little correlation between the OSCE and viva results. Eighty per cent of students felt the OSCE to be a fairer system than other examinations and all external examiners commented favourably on it. An OSCE is an acceptable alternative to traditional means of examination in paediatrics and may be superior in certain aspects.
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