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    Hello guys,

    So I'm a current third year and I'm at that stage of exams, when the OSCE's suddenly become very scary and intimidating. I did really well in first year with the OSCE's, however i've noticed my OSCE grade slip slightly recently.

    What I feel would help is some advice on how to prepare for my OSCE. I've been able to coast through the OSCE's until now without proper and effective preparation. So if anyone can give me some tips on how best to prepare i'd really appreciate it.

    Many thanks guys.
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    Practise, practise, practise.
    Exams lots of 'normal' - knowing exactly what is normal, makes it easier to appreciate abnormal.
    Get slick at your presenting - practise this a lot, this makes a big difference, being able to clearly and logically present and summarise your findings.
    A big part of technique in OSCEs is being able to move on from one station, clear your head, take a deep breath, and move on to the next one with a clean slate. If you're still worrying about all the things you missed / did wrong in the last station, you're not going to be concentrating in the next station and that'll affect your performance. The examiner in station 2 doesn't know that you did something stupid in station 1. You have a whole new chance to do your best and impress them. We can probably all remember an OSCE station or possibly many, where things just went completely pear-shaped, we had no idea what was going on, couldn't find anything abnormal, forgot examination technique, stumbled trying to present it, whatever. Yet it is usually still possible to rescue things at this stage with a clear head and a calm approach to the next one.
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    (Original post by junior.doctor)
    Practise, practise, practise.
    Exams lots of 'normal' - knowing exactly what is normal, makes it easier to appreciate abnormal.
    Get slick at your presenting - practise this a lot, this makes a big difference, being able to clearly and logically present and summarise your findings.
    A big part of technique in OSCEs is being able to move on from one station, clear your head, take a deep breath, and move on to the next one with a clean slate. If you're still worrying about all the things you missed / did wrong in the last station, you're not going to be concentrating in the next station and that'll affect your performance. The examiner in station 2 doesn't know that you did something stupid in station 1. You have a whole new chance to do your best and impress them. We can probably all remember an OSCE station or possibly many, where things just went completely pear-shaped, we had no idea what was going on, couldn't find anything abnormal, forgot examination technique, stumbled trying to present it, whatever. Yet it is usually still possible to rescue things at this stage with a clear head and a calm approach to the next one.

    Thanks for your response! - With regards to practising. How do you suggest practising history taking?
    Is it worth scripting histories?
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    (Original post by .S.K.T.)
    Thanks for your response! - With regards to practising. How do you suggest practising history taking?
    Is it worth scripting histories?
    Presumably in your OSCE, history taking will take the form of a long case with a period of time to take a history and then +/- examination, followed by presenting your findings. Practise according to your exam format. Ie if you get 30 mins to do hx + examination, practise doing it like this and presenting it all together with differential diagnosis and ix / suggested management, whatever you're meant to do. If it's just a history in 10 minutes etc, practise it that way.

    In the OSCEs where I had to take a history, it was mostly from a real patient, and the examiner wasn't present. I had x minutes to take the history and then a further time when I went next door to the examiner and presented and discussed it. I therefore practised in this way - timing myself taking a history from a patient, and then going to someone and presenting it. If an examiner will be present when you take the history, try to get someone to be present when you practise taking the history. It can be challenging to find someone with the time to do this, but juniors can sometimes be convinced if you save them some time by helping helping them with their jobs; they then have some time to spend teaching you.

    There were a couple of specific scenarios I had where it was an actor and the examiner was present to observe - a psychiatry station taking a history from an actor-patient and assessing risk, and then a paeds history station taking the history from a 'parent' who was an actor. Try to find out from people who have gone before, whether histories are from actors or real patients - this does make a bit of a difference as actors are normally a bit more to the point and patients, even if they're already recounted the same details 5 times, won't be as slick.

    Don't practise by taking histories from your medical friends - even if medics are trying hard to pretend to be patients, they are far too good at preempting and knowing what you're going to ask / accidentally giving details you\re not asked for, and generally giving a textbook history of whatever condition.

    TLDR: Do your practising in the same format and to the same time constraints as you actual exam.
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    (Original post by .S.K.T.)
    Hello guys,

    So I'm a current third year and I'm at that stage of exams, when the OSCE's suddenly become very scary and intimidating. I did really well in first year with the OSCE's, however i've noticed my OSCE grade slip slightly recently.

    What I feel would help is some advice on how to prepare for my OSCE. I've been able to coast through the OSCE's until now without proper and effective preparation. So if anyone can give me some tips on how best to prepare i'd really appreciate it.

    Many thanks guys.

    Hi,

    I just recently took the PLAB2 - an OSCE based exam- 18 stations, 10 min each. I prepared after 13 years of being out of touch and with a prep of only 14 days course and 14 days studying.

    I think I established how to go about it quick and dirty.

    First form your own structure for history taking:

    mine was a bit like this:

    Greet
    explain and take consent
    How can I help you
    elaborate first complaint: SOCRATES/ODIPARA- (or counselling/sexual Hx as per station requirement_
    ask - if any other problem
    elaborate each complaint until no more
    Now as Q to understand S/S related to the DD
    Try to guess Provisional Dx/DD

    Now evaluate risk factors by
    Asking- any prev/recent illness/condition
    Any medication
    any allergy
    any Family Hx

    Now- personal Hx
    smoking/alcohol/diet/PA
    Sexual Hx (if relevant)
    Sleep/stress etc

    Now social Hx-
    occupation, travel, etc

    If Paed: Birth/vaccination/milestone/ feeding- bowel etc

    ** Use GEEKY MEDICS- app/you tube- really really good and brief- for examinations- just learn those steps- is takes long ONLY first time.

    **Use OSCE TIMER app

    ** Use your med school notes

    ** Learn some structures of stations- e.g. substance abuse, ethics, counselling, domestic violence, pre and post op advise, sexual history etc.


    Good luck - hope it was helpful- Mita x
 
 
 
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