RANZCR objective structured clinical examination in radiology (OSCER) examinations

Last revised by Dr Joshua Yap on 24 Aug 2022

The RANZCR Objective Structured Clinical Examination in Radiology (OSCER) examinations are part of the RANZCR Phase 2 examinations. They are considered the final capstone examination to assess a trainee's competence to practice autonomously as a clinical radiologist, incorporating clinical reasoning, clinical judgment, medical skills and knowledge, as well as broader intrinsic roles including communication and professionalism.

The examination is typically attempted in the fourth year of training. Trainees must pass the Phase 2 written examinations before they are eligible to sit the OSCER examinations.

The examinations are held twice a year in early June and early November. Results are subsequently released in late June and late November. The exams are currently held over four consecutive days at the AMC National Testing Center in Melbourne, Australia.

Format

The OSCER examinations consist of seven viva stations: 

  • abdominal
  • neuroradiology / head and neck
  • thoracic and cardiovascular
  • breast
  • obstetrics and gynecology
  • musculoskeletal
  • pediatrics

Each station is 25 minutes long, and each candidate will complete all seven stations within a single 4 hour block. During each station, candidates are examined by two examiners, who take turns showing cases. Cases are standardized such that all candidates within a given 4 hour block will be shown cases from the same set, though not necessarily in the same sequence.

Whereas previously the cases were presented as "hard-copy" films shown on a light-box, since November 2021 the cases have been shown digitally via a PACS viewer (Practique). As with any PACS viewer, there are imaging tools such as magnification, windowing, measurements, etc. All the images are downloaded locally prior to commencement of the examination to prevent slow loading times during the examination.

Scoring

Each individual case shown during the station is given a mark of pass +, pass, borderline, or fail. In order to pass the station, the candidate needs to:

  • pass >50% of the cases presented (however if an examiner notes significant concerns about a candidate, the examiner opinion outweighs the 50% rule); AND
  • be shown at least 7 cases without any specific discussion questions (thus 4 correct out of 7 cases is required to pass, or 5 correct out of 8 cases, etc.); OR
  • be shown at least 5 cases with specific discussion questions (thus 3 correct out of 5 cases is required to pass)

Discussion questions may include topics related to anatomy, applied imaging technology, or pathology.

Candidates are required to pass all individual stations to pass the OSCER examinations overall. If one or two individual stations are failed, then only those stations need be re-sat at the next exam sitting. However if three or more individual stations are failed, all seven stations need to be re-sat at the next exam sitting. Candidates have a maximum of three consecutive opportunities to complete the OSCER examinations.

Technique

Useful articles to aid in preparation for the OSCER examinations include:

NB: Details are correct at the time of writing. Please check with RANZCR for updated details. 

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