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From The CriticsReviewer: Pat Norton, EdD (University of Alabama School of Medicine)
Description: Readers are provided with an overview of the clinical exam process; both the types of skills tested and strategies for success. An extensive bank of practice examination questions is also provided.
Purpose: The authors help demystify the 0SCE/CSA for medical students and physicians who will take part in these exams.
Audience: Because clinical exams will become part of the licensing process and are currently a graduation requirement at many schools, this text is especially helpful for U.S. medical students and foreign medical graduates.
Features: The authors provide an overview of the clinical exam, and they explain types of skills being assessed, grading, and the role of standardized patients. Common physical exam and communication scenarios are discussed along with typical inter-station tasks and their goals. For the majority of the text the authors present sample cases in internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery, with student instructions and a worksheet for planning the patient encounter (history questions, physical exam elements, and communication items). The proposed checklist for each case is provided on the reverse of the worksheet.
Assessment: If there is a shortcoming in this text, it is that "patient answers" are listed in parentheses following the checklist item. The progress of many clinical encounters is based on the patient's answers (i.e., has the pain been present for a while or did it begin that morning; how does the patient describe the pain). While some basic questions can he developed, students may "miss" checklist items since they will not have an answer to their initial questions. It is obvious, however, that the authors have an excellent understanding of the clinical exam process and the skills necessary for success in these types of exams. 0n the whole, they provide a comprehensive overview of the OSCEs/CSAs. Individuals who read and study this text should do quite well on subsequent exams.