UGTM Passing OSCEs Candidate Briefings

The Unofficial Guide to

Passing OSCEs

Candidiate Briefings, Patient Briefings and Mark Schemes

Chief Editor: Zeshan Qureshi

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“This book presents a wide range of example scenarios that will ensure that you think in a logical manner and allow you to practise the stations, therefore reducing the anxiety when you perform under assessment. Each station contains instructions for the student, an extensive mark scheme and realistic directions for the patient so that your revision is as similar to the real exam as possible. Questions at the end of each station test your knowledge or force you to think logically when giving a sensible suggestion if you’re not quite sure!

This book has been written and reviewed by doctors and students who know what medical schools like to examine on, therefore it is a focused, up-to-date and universally applicable resource for the clinical years of training.”

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Katherine Lattey
4th year medical student, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

“Written in conjunction with ‘The Unofficial Guide to Passing OSCEs’ this book will help any final year student accomplish these exams. Contributed to by medical trainees and students, it provides a clear, compact outline to OSCE mark schemes. The interactive format allows for both solo and group revision. It is a key revision tool for any medical student wanting to master the OSCEs.”

Emily Hotton photo

Emily Hotton
Final year medical student, Bristol

“This book can be used early in the revision process to identify key areas one needs to focus revision on and periodically to check progress through regular mock OSCEs. It provides candidates with practical tips which other books may overlook, for both revision and the exam itself thus confirming the writers’ proficiency as authors of an OSCE revision guide.

It is reassuring to the reader and congruent with the aim of making students confident candidates to pass OSCEs.”

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International Journal Of Clinical Skills

“The OSCE book was extremely useful for passing the exam. I thought that it was very well written, easy to read and clearly presented.”

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Baldeep Singh Sidhu
Final year medical student

“Brilliant aide to accompany the parent book. Perfect for practising close to exams! A must have for finals in my opinion!”

Shamit Shah
Final year medical student

The Unofficial Guide to OSCEs: Candidate Briefings, Patient Briefings, and Mark Schemes; written directly in line with The Unofficial Guide to OSCEs, is designed to help students practically go through a mock OSCE, either with patients in hospital or with friends at home.

As with The Unofficial Guide, the following sections are included: Histories, Examination, Orthopaedics, Practical Skills, Communication, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gyaenacology, Radiology, and Psychiatry.

This book aims to empower your examination preparation and help you on your way to excelling in the OSCE. We wish you all the best in your upcoming examinations and your future medical career.

Key Features

Candidate Briefing: Real life instructions that would be read by the candidate before going into the OSCE station.

Patient Briefing: Real life instructions that would be read by the actor playing the patient before going into the OSCE station.


Mark Scheme: A check list of things that it is important to cover in the station. The examiner can tick off points as they are covered in the boxes provided, and there is room for the mark scheme to be used five times to gauge progress


Questions and Answers for Candidate: Questions can be asked to the candidate. The answers are provided.


Additional Questions to Consider: Other questions surrounding the general theme of the station. They are ones to consider and think through as alternatives to those provided.

Includes 92 scenarios, covering medical history taking, clinical examination, practical skills, communication skills, plus specialties, meaning that everything for medical students is covered in one place.

The book is designed to allow students to role play a real life OSCE, with each station containing:

  1. Briefing for an actor playing the patient
  2. Briefing for the student and
  3. Mark scheme and questions to ask for the examiner

This book has relevance beyond examinations, with the mark scheme checklists acting as a day to day reference for professionals.

Zeshan Qureshi
Zeshan Qureshi
Chief Editor
Paediatrics trainee at Great Ormond Street, and the Institute of Child Health

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 for students.

…that medical texts are in constant need of being updated. 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 Unofficial Guide to Passing OSCEs have become the writers of this book. We welcome your suggestions and collaboration on developing this textbook in the future, and our other titles from adding new stations to simply making what we have already even better

…that medical knowledge should be acquired in a fun and memorable way, which is why we have made this book practical, so that you can use it in groups to practise with friends when you revise for your OSCEs

…that medical knowledge should be spread and shared at a minimal cost to the student. We will also continue to support medical education projects, through developing the writing skills of our readers.

Candidate Briefing: You are working on the stroke unit (at Hope Hospital, Whitby Road, London OG1 P02), and are called by the nursing staff to see an 81 year old patient (Jonathon Benjamin Morgue) that has just passed away. You are asked to pronounce them dead and to write a death certificate.The cause of death is a cerebrovascular accident which happened 2 days ago. It was felt to be secondary to a trial fibrillation, which was diagnosed 1 year 5 months ago. The patient also suffered a myocardial infarction 11 years ago, and was diagnosed with COPD 16 years ago. There is a clear cause of death, and there are no other concerns with regard to informing the coroner. You clerked the patient on admission.

The patient was found dead by the nursing staff at 01am on 28/1/13, and you verify the death at 01:43. Your consultant is Dr. Raj Patel.

A blank death certificate is provided for you (below).

Unofficial Guide to Passing OSCEs - Candidate Briefings - Death Certificate Blank image

How to Present Your FIndings Word for Word

Mark Scheme Icon

Verification of Death

If family present explain what you are going to do          
Check for response to painful stimuli (sternal rub)          
Feel for carotid pulse – 1 minute          


Position and Technique

Auscultate for breath sounds – 1 minute          
Ascultate for heart sounds – 1 minute          
Check pupils for dilation and responsivenes to light          
Leave body in dignified state (cover up to neck in sheet)          
Document examination together with time and date of verification in the patients medical notes          


Writing a Death Certificate

Block capitals and black ink used, no abbreviations used          
Patients fill name, date of death and time of death as pronounced by doctor, place of death          
Select appropriate option regaring post-mortem          
Select appropriate option with regard to whether the doctor attended / another medical profession attended the deceased during their last illness          
Appropriate cause of death part one, including duration of disease(s)          
Appropriate significant co-morbidities in part two, including duration of disease(s)          
Your details (name, signature, medical qualification)          
Name of consultant in charge          

Answers to OSCE questions you might be asked


Give three examples of when a death might be reported to a coroner


  • Any uncertified death
  • Any death that is sudden and unexpected, or that is violent, suspicious or unexplained
  • Any death that results from an accident at work, involving a vehicle, or burns, scalds, fire, explosives or similar
  • Due to poisoning, including overdose
  • Due to industrial disease
  • Where circumstances suggest suicide
  • Indications of a medical mishap
  • Following an abortion
  • Any death due to a fault or neglect on the behalf of another person or organisation
  • Death occurring whilst in custody
  • Death as a result of food poisoning or notifiable infectious disease
  • Any death of a foster child

Who can issue a death certificate?


  • A registered medical practitioner or a coroner (or procurator Fiscal in Scotland)
UGTM Passing OSCEs Candidate Briefings

Preview The Unofficial Guide to Passing OSCEs: Cadidiate Briefings, Patient Briefings and Mark Schemes

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