Clinical Skills Examination

The clinical skills examination is comprised of eight 10-minute objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and four simulated office orals (SOOs) each 15 minutes in length.


The 10-minute OSCE stations assess the candidate's ability to obtain a history and/or conduct a physical examination. They also allow the candidate to demonstrate interviewing and communication skills and/or applying management skills.

At each station, a brief written statement introduces a clinical problem and directs the candidate to appropriately examine a standardized patient. A physician examiner is present at each station and observes the patient encounter.

These stations are structured for the candidate to interact with the standardized patient for 10 minutes. In some cases, the clinical encounter ends at nine minutes and is followed by a one-minute oral examination. During the oral examination, the physician examiner will ask one to three pre-specified questions related to the patient problem. For all stations, the physician examiners observe the encounter and use standardized scoring instrument(s) to assess each candidate's performance.

Please visit the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) website for exam preparation resources, OSCE station examples, frequently asked questions on preparing for the OSCE station format and a list of common mistakes made on OSCEs.  


SOOs are designed to duplicate, insofar as possible, the actual "setting" in which the family physician conducts a practice. Family physicians are trained to role-play patients presenting with specific complaints. The physician playing the role of the patient notes the management of the case by the candidate, and he or she will score the candidate according to predefined criteria. This examination will assess both the definition and management of health problems. The scoring system has been devised to focus on the candidate's approach to dealing with patients—including their ability to understand the patient's unique experience and to establish a positive doctor-patient relationship. Getting the "right diagnosis" plays only a minor role in the scoring. There are no hidden agendas.

The College believes that physicians who use a patient-centered approach best meet their patients' needs. The patient-centered clinical method is explained in detail in the book Patient-centered medicine: transforming the clinical method.  3rd ed.   Stewart M,  Brown JB,  Weston W, McWhinney I, McWilliam C,  Freeman T, eds. London:  Radcliffe Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978-846-19566-2

Please take a moment to read the Introduction, Instructions to the Candidate, Instructions to the Examiner and the Marking Scheme to familiarize yourself with the process and the case presented before viewing the demonstration video.

The CFPC SOO Videos Library serves as a resource representative of the Simulated Office Oral encounter. A more meaningful viewing experience rewards the viewer who abides by the College’s recommendation to study the SOO Video Viewing and Scoring protocol outlined in the following document, prior to the actual viewing of the featured SOO video.

Guidelines on the Optimum Viewing and Scoring of SOO Video.


SOO Videos Library


This video features the case of a 42-year-old male patient, Mr. Bill Snook, presenting with the problems of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and a gambling addiction.
Dr. Jenny Clement conducts the patient interview.


SOO Scripts Library


Sample 1

Victor Trudel1. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
2. Osteoarthritis of the neck

Sample 2

Daniel Labbe

1.  Post-coital contraception for girlfriend
2.  Herpes infection

Sample 3

Fr. Michael Johnstone

1.  Carpal tunnel syndrome
2.  Bipolar disorder

Sample 4

Maria White

1.  Polymyalgia rheumatica
2.  Caregiver burnout

Sample 5

Frank Lowe

1.  Erectile dysfunction
2.  Wife’s recent death/children’s reaction

Sample 6

Michaela Montini

1.  Asthma
2.  Abusive husband

Sample 7

Jane Robertson

1.  Questions about contraception
2.  Problems sleeping

Sample 8

Monica Wells

1.  Son’s speech delay
2.  Neck mass

Sample 9Jonathan Barlinski                           

 1.  Chest pain
 2.  A son with autism



                                                      SOO Documents and Links Library

Distinguishing a "Certificant" from a "Superior Certificant": Exploration of the Illness Experience
This document features evaluation tools to assess a candidate's performance with an emphasis on communication skills.

Guidelines on the Optimum Viewing and Scoring of a SOO Video
This document outlines the CFPC recommended protocol to create the optimum SOO video viewing and scoring environment.

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