The objective-structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a useful tool in evaluating clinical competence. Traditional clinical-evaluation measures have been criticized as arbitrary and lacking reliability, whereas written exams test primarily cognitive aspects. The OSCE focuses on learner actions rather than abstract knowledge and evaluates in a uniform fashion. A 15-station OSCE was created for an internal medicine junior clerkship, based on predetermined skill and content goals. The exams then were scored by a single, blinded reviewer, again in a predetermined fashion. The OSCE has been studied in terms of reliability, content validity, and construct validity. The exam has become accepted by the department and has guided the continuing curricular development. The OSCE is not designed to measure all the domains of a learner's educational process. However, when used in conjunction with other evaluating mechanisms, it provides an objective outcome measure of the medical education process.