Objective structured clinical examinations
Paul Tomlins looks back on his finals and gives his suggestions to all of you about to sit finals…
Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) are a terrifying experience. The frantic last minute cramming ends abruptly, and as you hear the first bell you instantly forget anything you have learnt in the past few weeks. But like anything else, a few hints, tips, and tricks can make all the difference on the big day. Here are just a few that I have found useful.
Before any exam there are always plenty of rumours: you should believe none of them. The perennial favourite is that “you won't get (insert disease/examination) in the OSCE.” Don't believe a word of it. Whatever it is, it will turn up if you haven't prepared for it.
The second source of patients is the wards. For obvious reasons, these patients have to be fairly healthy, and so some of their signs might have faded by the time they are stable. So be on the lookout for