Original Publication
Open Access

Geriatrics Medication History Objective Structured Clinical Exam

Published: February 22, 2011 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8274

Included in this publication:

  • The Medication History OSCE for MedEdPORTAL.doc

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Introduction: This 12-15 minute performance-based assessment is designed in the format of an OSCE and measures student’s clinical competency in taking a comprehensive geriatrics medication history. This assessment is intended for students who have received instruction on how to take a medication history with older patients and who have some clinical experience allowing them to practice this skill. Methods: Students are asked to interview a simulated patient (SP) regarding their medications and to make appropriate recommendations for problems identified. The SP brings to the assessment a brown bag including all their prescription medications. A faculty rater observing the interview completes a performance checklist which includes individual items as well as two global ratings of performance. Results: We have successfully implemented this OSCE with the entire class of MS3 students (N = 168) in the spring of 2009 during our annual OSCE weekend. As rated by faculty, 73.8% of students at least met expectations for collecting accurate medication histories, and 79.3% of students at least met expectations for delivering an effective analysis, synthesis, and set of recommendations. Discussion: Although this OSCE is designed primarily as a summative assessment tool and is used at our institution at the end of the third year of training, the format allows the activity to be easily adapted into a formative assessment tool.

Educational Objectives

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

  1. Take a medication history and to gather information regarding the patient’s understanding of their medications, and problems and factors influencing adherence.
  2. Outline a patient plan with steps that can be taken to reduce medication problems and obstacles to adherence.

Author Information

  • Maria van Zuilen, PhD: University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
  • Jose Gonzalez, MD: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Enrique Aguilar, MD: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Juan Carlos Palacios, MD: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Michael Mintzer, MD: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


van Zuilen M, Gonzalez J, Aguilar E, Palacios J, Mintzer M. Geriatrics medication history objective structured clinical exam. MedEdPORTAL. 2011;7:8274. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8274