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Objective Structured Practical Examination [OSPE] In Homoeopathic Pharmacy

Drs. Sumit Goel, Divya P. Menon and Parizad F. Damania discuss the use of the Objective Structured Practical Examination [OSPE] in Homoeopathic Pharmacy

 ABSTRACT

The principle behind OSPE is to provide a fair and reliable assessment by assessing multiple skills and knowledge domains through a series of stations or scenarios. Each station focuses on specific objectives, and students are evaluated based on their performance at each station. It is designed to test each component of competence uniformly and objectively for all students who are taking up a practical examination.

KEYWORDS

NCH; OPSE; Homoeopathic Pharmacy; Bloom Domain; Miller Pyramid; Guilbert Level; DOPS; Vehicles; Pharmaceutics; External application; Clinical pharmacy

 OSPE is an assessment method used in medical and healthcare education.

Its primary objective is to evaluate the practical skills and competencies of students in a standardized and structured manner.

  • Objective = Examiners use a checklist for evaluating the examinees
  • Structured = Examinees see the same problem and perform the same tasks in the same time frame
  • Practical Examination = Tasks are representative of those faced in real practical / clinical situation.

Principle

The principle behind OSPE is to provide a fair and reliable assessment by assessing multiple skills and knowledge domains through a series of stations or scenarios. Each station focuses on specific objectives, and students are evaluated based on their performance at each station.

It is designed to test each component of competence uniformly and objectively for all students who are taking up a practical examination.

Advantages

OSPE has several merits when compared to a standard practical examination:

Traditional Practical Examination Objective Structured Practical Examination
Subjective Objective
Variability Uniformity
Product is assessed Process is assessed
Too much emphasis on a single topic Entire practical syllabus is covered
Many abilities and knowledge ignored or not assessed Mapped with Bloom’s Domain, Miller’s Pyramid and Guilbert’s levels
Marks awarded by overall impression Standardized method of assessment

Method

OSPE involves a rotation-based system where students move from one station to another within a fixed time frame. Multiple stations are designed and each station has a specific objective which needs to be tested. The student is assessed at a series of stations with one or two aspects of competence being tested at each station.

At each station, students are presented with practical tasks / problem-solving exercises, or objective-based scenarios. Students’ performance is assessed using predetermined criteria.

 Setup

The setup for OSPE involves careful planning and organization.

  1. First, a blueprint is created, outlining the learning objectives and competencies to be assessed.
  2. Select the Task – Break into Sub-Tasks
  3. Assign Scores and allot time
  4. Then, stations are designed, each with a specific task or scenario related to the learning objectives.
  5. The resources and materials required for each station are prepared in advance.
  6. Orientation of examinees and examiners
  7. Conduct and assess

TESTING COMPETENCY OF EXAMINEES

Based on Miller’s Pyramid

  1. Knows [Knowledge]
  2. Knows How [Competence]
  3. Shows How [Performance]
  4. Does [Action]

Bloom’s domain

  1. Cognitive; 2. Affective; 3. Psychomotor

OSPE in Homoeopathic Pharmacy

Competency Based Dynamic Curriculum for Practicals in Homoeopathic Pharmacy involves experiments/practicals broadly comprising of the following subject areas

  1. Vehicles
  2. Pharmaceutics
  3. External applications
  4. Clinical pharmacy

Setup is designed in the following manner –

 Exam Details: I BHMS (2022)

Location: Department of Homoeopathic Pharmacy

Title: Objective Structured Practical Examination – Homoeopathic Pharmacy

Number of Stations: 5

Duration: 5 stations X 2 minutes = 10 mins

Total Marks: 5 stations X 4 marks = 20 marks

Station Setup:

Station 1: Vehicles

Objective:

Assess knowledge and skills in Vehicles – Globules / Sugar of Milk / Distil Water / Ethyl alcohol

Practical experiments covered include

  • Globules – size determination
  • Sugar of milk – Purity testing
  • Distil water – Purity testing
  • Ethyl alcohol – Purity testing; Specific gravity

Station 2: Pharmaceutics

Objective:

Assess knowledge and skills in Pharmaceutics – Old and New Method / Potentization

Practical experiments covered include

  • Trituration
  • Succussion
  • Fluxion and Jumping Potency
  • Preparation of mother tincture, mother solution, mother substance

Station 3: External Applications

Objective:

Assess knowledge and skills in External applications

Practical experiments covered include

  • Glycerol
  • Lotion
  • Liniment
  • Ointment

Station 4: Clinical Pharmacy

Objective:

Assess knowledge and skills in Dispensing and Prescription writing

Practical experiments covered include

  • Dispensing with globules
  • Dispensing with sugar of milk
  • Dispensing with distil water
  • Writing a Prescription

Station 5: DOPS – Direct Observation of Procedural Skills

Objective:

The examinee shall be asked to demonstrate a practical test and assessed on pre-determined criteria.

Examinee shall also answer a related pre-set question in connection with the demonstration.

SAMPLE SET – STATIONS

STATION 1 – VEHICLES

1.01 VEHICLE – SUGAR OF MILK

TOTAL MARKS = 4

Bloom’s Domain Miller’s Pyramid Guilbert’s Level
Setup

·        Requirement – Test tube rack; Test tube; Starch powder; Iodine solution

·        Take starch powder in test tube and add few drops of Iodine. Put test tube on rack

A What is the inference of the above test [1] Cognitive Knows how Application
B Name the method of removing this impurity [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge
C Which property of the above vehicle is used in trituration [1] Cognitive Knows how Comprehension
D What is preserved in this powder [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge

STATION 2 – PHARMACEUTICS

2.01 PHARMACEUTICS (Vegetable Charcoal)

TOTAL MARKS = 4

Bloom’s Domain Miller’s Pyramid Guilbert’s Level
Setup

·        Requirement – Vegetable charcoal; crucible

·        Display vegetable charcoal in crucible

A What is prepared from this raw material: Mother solution / Mother tincture / mother substance [1] Cognitive Knows how Application
B Which class in Old Method does this drug belong to [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge
C What is the drug : vehicle ratio to prepare 1C potency [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge
D  After which potency in Centesimal scale is it converted into liquid [1] Cognitive Knows how Comprehension

STATION 3 – EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS

3.01 EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS

TOTAL MARKS = 4

Bloom’s Domain Miller’s Pyramid Guilbert’s Level
Setup

Case Scenario:

A 18-year-old girl presents with a complaint of stomatitis

A What is the choice of external application to be employed [1] Cognitive Knows how Application
B Specify the Mother tincture: Base ratio for preparation of external application [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge
C Mention the Label Specification for this external application [1] Cognitive Knows how Comprehension
D Give one more utility of this external application [1] Cognitive Knows Knowledge

STATION 4 – CLINICAL PHARMACY

4.01 CLINICAL PHARMACY

TOTAL MARKS = 4

Bloom’s Domain Miller’s Pyramid Guilbert’s Level
Setup

Case Scenario:

A 18-year-old girl presents with a complaint of stomatitis.

She has to be prescribed Merc sol 200 in deviated doses.

A What is the choice of vehicle for dispensing [1] Cognitive Knows how Comprehension
B Generate a prescription in English for the same

[Inscription and Subscription] [3]

Cognitive Knows how Synthesis

 STATION 5 – DOPS – DIRECT OBSERVATION OF PROCEDURAL SKILLS

5.01 DOPS

TOTAL MARKS = 4

Bloom’s Domain Miller’s Pyramid Guilbert’s Level
Setup

1 drachm plastic bottle; globules; Nux vomica 200 liquid

A Demonstrate – Medication of globules by Nux vomica 200 [3] Psychomotor Does Guided response
B Answer – What instructions will you give to patient on its preservation [1] Cognitive Knows how Application

CONCLUSION

Shifting from traditional methods of practical examination to OSPE shall ensure competency based real-time scenario evaluations and a fair judgment of the abilities of a medical student as envisioned by NCH policies and guidelines.

About the author

Sumit Goel

Dr. Sumit Goel, M.D. (Hom) Gold Medalist, HOD, Homoeopathic Pharmacy – Smt. Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Homoeopathic Medical College, Mumbai
Author of Art and Science of Homoeopathic Pharmacy, Decoding the Dose [English and Spanish], A Study and Organon of Medicine and Homoeopathic Philosophy, I Wanna Grow Up Once Again [in 21 languages], Practical Manual of Homoeopathic Pharmacy.

About the author

Parizad Damania

Dr. Parizad Damania - MD(Hom) Principal, Smt CMPH Medical College (20th Feb 2016 –present. Head of Department and Professor of Pharmacy (2005 till 2016). Academic Council – Faculty of Homoeopathy – Mumbai University – Ad hoc Committee Member from 8th January 1999 – 2002. On panel for selection of examiners for BHMS degree course – 7thJanuary 2000 till August 2002. Examiner and Convener – Homoeopathic Pharmacy – I BHMS; M.D. (Hom) – University of Mumbai and MUHS, Nashik. Project Director for
homoeopathic pathogenetic trial - Carica papaya, Influenzinum, Cortisone, Histaminum.

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