I haven’t had any summative clinical year OSCEs since my 3rd year ones were cancelled. I did have a formative 3rd year OSCE, but I suppose that’s not really the same as having an official summative one. I’ll talk about how I revised for my pre-clinical OSCEs.
Our pre-clinical OSCEs at Manchester consist of Anatomy, physiology/pharmacology, communication skills and examination skills stations.
My Anatomy revision was all done using my flashcards. They were super helpful because I wrote out all of my Anatomy content in a question and answer format which of course matches the way you’re examined in an OSCE. For some parts of Anatomy (such as muscles of the limbs) I went through my flashcards with a friend and we repeated the facts with each other going through 1 muscle at a time. One of us would read the flashcard, the other would repeat and then we’d test each other. We’d do that for about 5 flashcards and then test each other on all 5 and wouldn’t move on until we both got all of the previous ones correct. Sounds like a monotonous method, but it was very helpful and made us both get through learning muscles a lot faster ( which is possibly the hardest part of Anatomy).
As I went through my flashcards I’d also sometimes try to create some rough visual sketches of the structure to help me place the images in my mind.
My physiology and pharmacology revision all came from reading through a handbook we’re given for it. I’d make notes on any extra parts of information in there and try to think about how I could be tested on those.
For communication and examination practise we had some very helpful revision sessions leading up to OSCEs where we had the opportunity to practise whatever we wanted with simulated patients, often on a one-to-one basis. That was really helpful. I made some notes on examination technique and the steps I was going to do before hand so it was very useful to be able to practise that repeatedly with “patients”. You also get great feedback from them and you can choose to run your practise time like multiple OSCE stations. I also practised examination skills with a friend – I’d say practising with each other is essential in helping you get your flow so make sure you find someone you can practise examination skills with!
I didn’t do any revision of PBL content directly for my OSCEs as PBL content tends not be tested in the OSCE, but instead in the Semester test we have. Because the semester test and the OSCEs take place at a similar time I was revising my PBL cases anyway by reading through my summaries and drawing diagrams to help me learn pathways so I suppose that knowledge was being learnt simultaneously.
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