Original Publication
Open Access

A Standardized Oral Examination for Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkships

Published: May 2, 2016 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10393

All appendices are peer reviewed as integral parts of the Original Publication.

  • Appendix 1 Oral Examiner Faculty Training.pptx
  • Appendix 10 Oral Exam Standardized Blank Case List.xlsx
  • Appendix 11 Oral Exam Sample Questions and Answers.docx
  • Appendix 2 Honors with Distinction Oral Exam.mp4
  • Appendix 3 Honors Oral Exam.mp4
  • Appendix 4 Pass Oral Exam.mp4
  • Appendix 5 Unsatisfactory Oral Exam.mp4
  • Appendix 6 Sample Training Oral Exam Faculty Evaluation Forms.docx
  • Appendix 7 Oral Exam Faculty Evaluation Form.docx
  • Appendix 8 Oral Exam Student Instructions.docx
  • Appendix 9 Oral Exam Case Topics.docx
  • Oral Examination Instructor's Guide.docx

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This training program was developed to help educators train obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) faculty in becoming oral examiners and to implement a consistent process for oral examination in order to assess medical student knowledge and clinical reasoning skills at the end of their core OB-GYN clerkship. Methods: The slide presentation is utilized to introduce faculty to the clerkship so they understand how the oral examination fits into the overall assessment of student performance. Videos are then used to familiarize faculty with the performance of students at different levels and how to use the evaluation form. The oral examination sample questions and answers further familiarize faculty with how to ask students standardized questions based upon student case topic selections and how to differentiate students at different levels. Results: From 2011-2014, 609 students took the oral examination. Two faculty members graded the students, and a composite of these two grades was used. This was done so that if the faculty differed in their ratings, both grades are accounted for in the final oral examination grade. Thirty-three percent of the learners received two Honors with Distinction grades, 32% received an Honors with Distinction and an Honors grade, and 23% received two Honors grades. Discussion: The oral examination has been part of the Harvard Medical School Obstetrics and Gynecology Core Clerkship assessment for over a decade, and a common format for its use at all sites was developed. The implementation of this module has resulted in a standardized assessment across multiple sites.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Discuss how an oral examination can be used as an assessment tool in an obstetrics and gynecology clerkship.
  2. Describe the steps involved in training faculty to be oral examiners.
  3. Demonstrate how to administer an oral exam to as clerkship student.

Author Information

  • Katharyn Atkins, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Natasha Johnson, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Holly Khachadoorian-Elia, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Malcolm Mackenzie, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Uchechi Wosu, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Carey York-Best, MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Hope Ricciotti, MD: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

None to report.

None to report.


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Atkinds K, Johnson N, Khachadoorian-Elia H, et al. A standardized oral examination for obstetrics and gynecology clerkships. MedEdPORTAL. 2016;12:10393. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10393