back to top

22 OSCE Moments All Medical Students Know Too Well

"I've been asked by the doctors to come and talk to you about why you've come in. Would that be OK?"

Posted on

1. Reeling off your over-rehearsed intro speech.

I've said, "Hi my name is Aemun Reza and I'm a medical student. I've just been asked by the doctor's to come and talk to you about why you have come in, would that be OK?" more times than I can remember.

2. Asking for, and subsequently forgetting, the patient's name.

Horrible Bosses (2011) New Line Cinema / Via

You ask the at the start, but by the end you panic because, for the life of you, you can't remember the patient's name.


5. Washing your hands very obviously to score the mark.

Because hand hygiene is so important that it merits a whole mark of its own. You may also have a mini freak out if you can't spot the alcohol gel.

6. Fumbling about when trying to put on gloves.

I'll do the vaginal exam without them! I'm wasting precious time!

7. Examining a model and trying to pretend its the patient, who is chilling on the other side of the room.

For speculums, vaginal examinations, pregnant abdomens, and rectal exams you have to talk to the model while the patient responds. This is extremely awkward if the patient is no where near said model.

8. Every awkward second of having to use your stethoscope.

From trying to listen to murmurs or bowel sounds, every moment you use that stethoscope you're just like, "What is this thing meant to do again?"


9. Trying to maintain composure when doing breast, vaginal, or rectal examinations.

Especially if they have fake models or you have to discuss really embarrassing symptoms during a history.

10. Pretending to take a pulse and then stating any reasonable number that is divisible by 4.

Pretending to look at your watch when all you're thinking is, "What number should I use? 64? 72?"

11. Internally freaking out if your patient's blood pressure isn't 120/80.

Because that is all you have rehearsed with.


13. When the patient has no signs.

Have I missed something? WTF is wrong with this patient? Whats the diagnosis? WHAT DO I DO?

15. Waiting for a patient shut up when they keep rambling on.

Community, NBC / Via

Can you just not please? I have limited time and a bunch of questions to ask you, I don't want to hear about your sister's dog (unless you're allergic).

16. Trying to avoid medical jargon and explaining things in simple terms to the patients.


This is actually a lot harder than expected, you've forgotten what the general public knows and you barely know what you're saying yourself.


18. Never getting to finish your history.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS / Via

Getting palpitations when you only just finished history of presenting complaint and the examiner stops you and you think, "BUT I DIDN'T ASK ABOUT SMOKING!"

20. Not looking back at the patient when you're presenting to the examiner.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012) Summit Entertainment / Via

Resisting all temptation to look at patient, especially if you have forgotten their name, is hard.

21. That moment when you realise you have no idea what is meant to be wrong with the patient.


Either after a history or an examination, you get to the end and turn to the examiner and you just think, "Shit".