Using standardized patients to evaluate medical students' evidence-based medicine skills

Richard Amini, Nicholas C. Hernandez, Samuel M Keim, Paul R Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: To analyze the effectiveness of an Evidence Based Medicine Objective Structured Clinical Examination (EBM OSCE) with standardized patients for end of third year medical students at our institution. Methods: This was a single-center prospective cross-sectional investigation. As part of the eight-station OSCE exam, the authors developed and implemented a new 25-minute EBM OSCE station with the goal of evaluating evidence based medicine skills necessary for daily clinical encounters. The OSCE case involved a highly educated patient with a history of recurrent debilitating migraines who has brought eight specific questions regarding the use of steroids for migraine headaches. Students were provided computer stations equipped to record a log of the searches performed. Results: One hundred and four third-year medical students participated in this study. The average number of search tools used by the students was 4 (SD = 2). The 104 students performed a total of 896 searches. The two most commonly used websites were and Sixty-nine percent (95% CI, 60% to 78%) of students were able to find a meta-analysis regarding the use of dexamethasone for the prevention of rebound migraines. Fifty-two percent of students were able to explain that patients who took dexamethasone had a moderate RR (0.68 to 0.78) of having a recurrent migraine, and 71% of students were able to explain to the standardized patient that the NNT for dexamethasone was nine. Conclusion: The EBM OSCE was successfully integrated into the existing eight-station OSCE and was able to assess student EBM skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Education
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Medical
  • Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Using standardized patients to evaluate medical students' evidence-based medicine skills'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this