Canadian Federation of
Medical Students


What is OnExam?

Medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) have written and released a new clinical skills app called OnExam. The app was originally designed to assist medical students with patient histories and the performance of physical examinations. The app is organized by organ body systems and includes 15 different systems such as Cardiac, Respiratory, Paediatrics, Neurologic etc. These body systems are then separated into four sections: History, Physical Exam, Special Tests, and a new Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) section. The goal of all those involved in the development of OnExam is to give healthcare professionals some pertinent history taking questions and physical exam maneuvers related to a patient’s chief complaint for a specific body system. Since our launch in 2011, we have been getting very positive feedback from healthcare professionals all around the globe. It is great to know we’ve made some new connections and received thank you emails from all corners of the world including Brazil, China, United Kingdom, Egypt and India to name a few. The majority of the feedback received tells us that OnExam is used as a quick and handy reference guide during clinical rotations as well as a study tool for written and practical examinations.

How did you start up the initiative?

The initial concept of OnExam and its name is credited to Drs. Matt Strickland and Geeta Yadav in 2009, while they were in their 4th year of medical school at NOSM. They were fortunate enough to receive the Student Initiative Grant from the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, along with the support of the NOSM Student Society. They were able to recruit fellow NOSM medical students Drs. Jesse Zroback and David Harris and a team of their medical peers to author several sections.

What’s next for OnExam?

Since the release of OnExam, we have been able to pass the project on to new medical students from NOSM with the idea of expanding the app and keeping the clinical information up to date. We have recruited two Chief Editors, Jonathan Ramkumar and Kaitlin Vanderbeck who assembled a team of 20 medical students to work on OnExam version 2.0. The update occurred July 2014. The main goal of the newest version of the app is to ensure all information is more clinically relevant, evidenced-based and up-to-date. Also, new in the update are: OSCE checklists to help as study aids for clinical examinations, the recruitment of specialist physicians as faculty advisors to review the material, and a Diagnostic Imaging Chapter to help with approaches to common imaging. The future of OnExam is to continue passing down the medical app to future generations of NOSM medical students with the idea of continued expansion of the information and keeping said information current and evidenced-based. The app is available for download for free on Apple and Android devices or can be browsed online at

For more information, questions or any feedback, please feel free to contact the OnExam App team at [email protected]