Tips for the cardiovascular OSCE
How to gain top marks
Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) are scary. Their unrelenting pace, unpredictability, and timed nature make them a fearsome prospect. This article aims to provide you with tips to help you maximise your marks in the cardiovascular OSCE. It will cover some key areas that medical students often find tricky and highlight some common pitfalls.
When you take the cardiovascular history you should aim to build a comprehensive picture of the patient’s presenting symptom, its history, and other health problems. Although this will gain you several marks, many more can be acquired by finding out about other components of the patient’s history that might provide an insight into the patient’s risk of developing ischaemic heart disease (box 1). To maximise your marks, cover the patient’s perspective of his or her health. This will give you a thorough clinical picture of the presenting symptom and highlight the patient’s health concerns and expectations