Becoming a Chiropractor: Be Prepared for Your OSCE Exam
Becoming a Chiropractor: Be Prepared for Your OSCE Exam
Communications Staff

Getting into chiropractic school is exciting, and your plan for becoming a chiropractor will take you through several stages as a student. One challenge you'll face as you reach the end of your first term as a chiropractic intern is the OSCE exams – short for the Objective Structured Clinical Examination.

The Buildup to the OSCE Exam

You won't need to stress yourself about "the OSCEs" at the beginning of your chiropractic education. However, it is good to know about the OSCE because it's a comprehensive evaluation of your clinical skills and how well you interact with patients.

Along the way to becoming a chiropractor, you'll move from basic chiropractic education to becoming an intern in the student clinic. From there, you'll advance to treating patients in the college's public clinic. To do that, however, requires a good OSCE score. Showing your competency in chiropractic knowledge and techniques is what the OSCE exams are all about.

What's in the OSCE Exam?

There are six stations in the OSCE exam, including taking a medical history, diagnosis, and demonstrating a variety of orthopedic exams to determine the presence of certain health conditions.

An added benefit of doing well on the OSCEs is its great preparation for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exams.

7 Tips for a Better Score on the OSCE Exam

By the time you're ready for your turn on the OSCE stage, your chiropractic education should have you prepared to pass the test with flying colors. Still, it's a test with a lot at stake, so feeling apprehensive is perfectly reasonable.

Here are a few tips for doing your best when it's your time for the OSCE exams.

  1. Learn a self-calming technique that works best for you. Appearing nervous can affect your ability to recall information that you really do know.
  2. Try to think of the scenarios encountered during the OSCE as just another patient consultation. Practice with other students as much as possible – FaceTime and Skype are good options.
  3. Participate in a group study. You'll want to include students who are comfortable with constructive criticism.
  4. In taking patient histories, remember to establish rapport with the patient. Introduce yourself, ask open-ended questions, and speak at a comfortable pace.
  5. Remember, examiners are often as interested in your confidence and style as in your diagnosis.
  6. Be in control of the process. Very often, OSCE exam patients are told not to offer up more information unless asked directly.
  7. Practice being clear, understandable, and concise when presenting a diagnosis. If there is no clear diagnosis indicated, say so.

After the OSCE Exam


Once you have passed the entrance OSCEs, you will become a chiropractic intern who is eligible to treat members of the general public. Remember, the OSCE exam also helps prepare you for Part IV board exams. This is important because passing the chiropractic board exams is required to receive your chiropractic license.

Before you complete your studies on the way to becoming a chiropractor, you will take another OSCE exam. The exit OSCE exam is similar to the entrance OSCE exam. The biggest difference is that you will take the exit OSCE exam as you prepare to complete your internship and graduate.

Becoming a Chiropractor at CUKC

Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, health care focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. Students can earn the Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 3.3 years through a year-round, tri-semester schedule.

Points of distinction for the CUKC chiropractic degree include:

  • The College of Chiropractic's role as a pioneer in chiropractic and health sciences for nearly 100 years.
  • CUKC is first U.S. chiropractic school to have two Force Sensing Tables in the adjusting laboratory on campus, which increases student confidence in their chiropractic adjustment skills.
  • CUKC students begin hands-on classes as early as the first trimester. CUKC chiropractic students intern in the on-campus student chiropractic clinic, then advance to the on-campus public chiropractic clinic.

If you're eager to learn more about becoming a chiropractor, get the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession today!

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