The top 5 OSCE medical student mistakes for Clinical History and Examination

As it’s close to exam time for many of you we thought we might give a quick reminder about your OSCE stations. The following list is compiled with over 7 years of teaching experience along with a recent mock exam teaching exercise involving 30 medical students.

In the observation of 30 medical students only 1 was able to perform all these 5 correctly!

Make sure you carry out all 5 of these tasks carefully, and correctly, to gain maximum marks in your exam.

1) Students not introducing as themselves to patients using their full name

“My name is Joe, Im a 3rd year medical student”

Instead of

“My name is Joe Bloggs, Im a 3rd Year medical student”

2) Lack of awareness of infection control policy in the clinical area: Naked below the elbows, no watches in most areas!

Make sure you wash your hands before touching the patient to take history and again prior to the examination.

3) Not getting simple core patient data: age and occupation

Over 50% of the students in one sample of >30 missed this. There are no excuses for missing this!

4) Not exposing the patient correctly – ask the examiner first

The most common exposures are:

* CVS: Exposure, 45 degrees
* Resp: Exposure, 45 degrees
* GIT: Exposure (shirt off, normally nipples to knees, but for examination purposes it is incredibly rare to expose or examine external genitalia as part of the GI exam!)
* Neuro: Arms 45 degrees, Legs flat, CN sitting
* Hands: Expose elbows, use a pillow
* Hips Knees: Supine, flat

5) Not inspecting areas correctly

You should move first from the end of the bed prior to the examination, and then the core area examined (e.g. abdomen: look round both flanks for scars etc, chest look in axilla / closely for scars/ signs of thoracocentesis).

Get more tips like this here.

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