Do you have OSCE examinations coming up?

Would you like reinforcement of key clinical signs/tests you are expected to know, with high quality images including real patients with real signs? And do you want to know exactly how to present your findings back to the examiner, and answer the questions they fire back at you?

As the best-selling OSCE book on Amazon.co.uk since it’s launch in February 2012, and with copies sold in over 20 countries, The Unofficial Guide to Passing OCSEs is undoubtedly a resource students rely on time and time again to succeed as they progress in their medical career.

In the increasingly competitive world of medical training, the pressure is on to successfully pass one of the most stressful exams you will take at medical school: the OCSE. With its test focused format, The Unofficial Guide to Passing OCSEs features everything necessary to successfully pass this exam. The text captures the insights of medical students and recent graduates in the language that they use to make complex material more easily digestible, with the reassurance of content reviewed by senior clinicians.

Key Features

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Unlike other OSCE books, everything in one place. Over 100 OSCE scenarios: histories, examination, practical/communication skills, PLUS specialities including orthopaedics, paediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, prescribing, O&G, opthalmology, ENT

Chapters written and conceptualised by actual students and junior doctors who have recently completed the exam process, in conjunction with over 35 senior clinicians in each specific speciality

Over 300 full colour clinical photos, including real patients with real signs

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Model answers to key OSCE questions

Present your findings: how to confidently, concisely and accurately tell the examiner your findings for every station, something feared, yet not covered by other OSCE books, including for ECGs, X-Rays, fundoscopy, and auroscopy

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This product stands for quality

All in one place: Step by step guides, over 100 OSCE scenarios: histories, examination, practical/communication skills, PLUS specialities including orthopaedics, paediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, prescribing, O&G, opthalmology, ENT.

The intention of the book is to present key medical knowledge in a manner that is both fun and easy to remember. Over 300 full colour clinical photos, including real patients with real signs. Model answers to key OSCE questions. How to ‘present your findings’ for every station, including ECGs, X-Rays, fundoscopy, and auroscopy. All in the simple language that fresh graduates used to successfully pass exams.

Zeshan Qureshi portrait facing right

Zeshan Qureshi, Chief Editor

Paediatrics trainee at Great Ormond Street, and the Institute of Child Health.


We appreciate that OSCEs are often the most stressful exams you will take at medical school. This books aims to empower your examination preparation and help you on your way to excelling in the OSCE. We believe that fresh graduates have a unique perspective on what works for students. We have captured the insight of medical students and recent graduates in the language that they used to make complex material more easily digestible as students, with the reassurance of content review by senior clinicians.

Every medical student has the potential to contribute to the education of others by innovative ways of thinking and learning. This book is an open collaboration with you: the readers of the second edition have become the writers of the third edition, so please get in touch, you have the power to contribute something valuable to medicine.

unofficial guide to passing osces - Sharleen Hill testimonial thumbnail"The unofficial guide was my Bible for OSCE practice, it had everything you needed to know and more, an essential for all Finalists."

Sharleen Hill,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Robynne Wong testimonial thumbnail"A really concise guide, easy to follow, and exactly what you need for OSCEs, thank you!"

Robynne Wong,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Cath Roels testimonial image"This book is amazing and I don’t think I would have passed my exams without it."

Cath Roels,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Sisi Chen testimonial image"The range of OSCE stations covered were very good, especially at the beginning when I didn't know where to start!"

Sisi Chen,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Phil Stevens testimonial image"This book is an essential read for any final year student about to take their OSCEs. The best money I spent in my final year of medical school."

Phil Stevens,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Mostayn Alam testimonial image"Concise, to the point and the key to passing any OSCE stations whether you are looking for a pass or a distinction. This book should be possessed by every medical student starting their clinical years."

Mostayn Alam,

Final year medical student

unofficial guide to passing osces - Simon Maxwell testimonial image"The chapters are clearly written, in simple language that should appeal to students and reflect the fact that the authors themselves have recently been OSCE candidates.

They are all part of what I believe is a genuine re-invigoration of the art of teaching amongst junior medical staff."

Simon Maxwell,

Professor of Student Learning

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Fully Reported X-Rays

The Unoffical Guide To Passing OSCEs - X-ray image one

“This is an AP chest radiograph. There are no identifying markings. I would like to ensure that it is the correct patient and to check the date that it was taken.

It is a technically adequate film; it is not rotated, has adequate penetration, and good inspiratory effort. There are no important areas cut off at the edges of the film. The most striking abnormality is a well-demarcated area of increased opacification in the right upper zone (pink arrows). The right hilum is increased in size, with a round opacity, and higher than the left (white arrows), suggesting loss of volume. Reviewing the rest of the film, the trachea is not deviated. Comparing the left and right lungs, I can see no other obvious abnormalities in the lung fields. The heart is not enlarged (noting that this is an AP film), heart borders are clear, as are the cardiophrenic angles. There is no abnormality visible behind the heart. The diaphragms look normal, the costophrenic angles are clear, and there is no air under the diaphragm. There is no evidence of fractures. In summary, this chest radiograph shows right upper lobe collapse with associated right hilar enlargement. The most likely diagnosis is neoplasia, although hilar lymphadenopathy may also be due to infection of sarcoidosis.”

How to present your findings, word for word

“This is Mrs Smith, who has presented with shortness of breath and a heart murmur. She is comfortable at rest, on 2 litres of oxygen. There are no stigmata of infective endocarditis. Her pulse is regular at a rate of 60BPM. It is slow rising and normal volume. Pulse pressure is normal. On auscultation, she has an ejection systolic murmur in the aortic area, radiating to both her carotids. S1 is normal with a quiet S2. There are no additional heart sounds. There is no evidence of heart failure.
This is consistent with a diagnosis of aortic stenosis. I would like to confirm this with an echocardiogram, perform a chest X-ray, and an ECG.”

Disease illustrated as you would see it in real life, through pictures of real patients with real signs

The Unoffical Guide To Passing OSCEs - Clubbed Fingers image

Clubbed Fingers


The Unoffical Guide To Passing OSCEs - Corneal Arcus image

Corneal Arcus

Normal Examination Demonstrated in Pictures

Palpating thyroglossal cyst image

Palpatating for thyroglossal cyst

Percussion image

Percussion

Fluid Thrill image

Fluid Thrill

Top tips from both experts and junior doctors

“When introduced to a patient with a murmur, most students will only listen to the murmur on one occasion. I found that, providing the patient was happy, going back and listening to the murmur a second or third time really helped consolidate my pattern recognition skills”

Zeshan Qureshi,
Paediatric Trainee, London

“It is actually much more reliable to look for fasciculations when the tongue is resting in the mouth, rather than when it is protruded.”

Richard Knight,
Professor of Clinical Neurology, University of Edinburgh

“When introduced to a patient with a murmur, most students will only listen to the murmur on one occasion. I found that, providing the patient was happy, going back and listening to the murmur a second or third time really helped consolidate my pattern recognition skills”

Robby Steele,
Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Answers to OSCE questions you might be asked

Question 1

How would you differentiate an upper motor neuron VII lesion from a lower motor neuron VII lesion?

Answer 1

The muscles of the forehead have bilateral cortical representation. Therefore, in an upper motor neurone lesion, e.g. a cerebral infarct, there is sparing of the forehead. The patient would still be able to raise their eyebrows equally on both sides.

Question 2 icon

How would you confirm the diagnosis of Acromegaly?

Answer icon 2

Measure growth hormone levels during an oral glucose tolerance test. In acromegaly, the growth hormone level is not suppressed after consuming the carbohydrate load. There may even be a paradoxical rise in growth hormone levels.

Question 3 icon

What are the most alarming features of depression one should look out for?

Answer icon 3

Psychotic features e.g. nihilistic/persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations. Self-neglect e.g. reduced appetite may result in significant weight loss. Potential for harm to self or others.

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