In an OSCE, it's important to remember that the tasks represent real clinical situations. This means that you should try to forget about the examiner and focus on the patient. Be confident in your knowledge and abilities, but also listen carefully to the patient and consider all the information they provide. Good preparation and practice will help you perform well in the OSCE, so make sure to study and rehearse with friends and real patients. To perform well in clinical assessment stations, follow these tips:

  1. Carefully read and follow the instructions provided for each station, as they provide the framework for what is expected of you. Pay attention to the specific requirements of each station and do exactly what is being asked of you.
  2. Use your notebook to highlight key information provided in the prompt, and to organize your thoughts and notes as you move from station to station. This will help prevent confusion and ensure you can effectively attend to the requirements of each station.
  3. In the OSCE exam, the examiners will assess your communication skills with the simulated patient (SP). It is important to show that you can apply appropriate questioning techniques and communicate effectively with the SP. Avoid asking only close-ended questions or interrogating the SP, as this will not score well in the global assessment. Instead, use a mix of open and closed questions, and remember to introduce yourself professionally to the SP. Good communication skills are essential for being a good physician, so show your empathetic and attentive approach to the SP in the exam.
  4. Verbalize your examination as you perform a physical examination. This will demonstrate your anatomical knowledge and provide insight into your thought process. It is not necessary to explain why you are performing a particular examination, but it is important to state each action and use appropriate terminology.
  5. Stay focused on the present station, and avoid anticipating upcoming stations. This will allow you to be fully engaged with the patient you are currently working with and effectively attend to their history and needs. Use active listening skills to gather relevant information.
  6. When providing advice or counselling to a patient, be specific and tailored to their individual situation. Avoid providing generic advice, and be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of any management options, including medications.
  7. Be aware of your verbal and non-verbal communication, and try to remain calm and professional. Avoid quickened speech, increased hand gestures, and stuttering. Maintain eye contact and use open body language, and take pauses to collect your thoughts if needed. Use non-verbal communication, such as nodding, to show the patient that you are listening.
  8. The standardized patient should be the focus of the examination, not the examiner. Use probing questions to gather information and demonstrate empathy, active listening, and collaboration to help the patient share necessary information. Avoid focusing on the examiner's reaction and avoid dominating the conversation with excessive questioning.
  9. Don't use jargon or medical terminology when speaking with the standardized patient. Instead, use simple language and provide clear instructions. Encourage the patient to ask questions and make sure to provide ample opportunities for them to do so.
  10. Remember that the goal of the examination is to demonstrate patient-centered care and a thorough approach to investigating and managing the patient's condition. Avoid becoming fixated on the examiner's checklist and focus on gathering the necessary information from the standardized patient.