Home Page MRCOG page How to pass the MRCOG first time

This is a new page and still under development.

It should be finished in a few days.

Tom McFarlane.

List of contents.

  1. what is an OSCE?
  2. format of the part 2 MRCOG OSCE
  3.     the RCOG's information
  4.     the physical layout
  5.     the timing of the stations
  7. sample stations
  8.     viva with examiner
  9.         with preparatory station
  10.         with no preparatory station
  11.     roleplay
  12.         with preparatory station
  13.         with no preparatory station
  14.     audit
  15.     labour ward prioritisation
  16.     laboratory results: action needed & timing
  17.     surgical waiting list prioritisation
  18.     pre-op ward round
  19.     post-op ward round
  22.     protocol
  23.     fire drill
  24.     teaching

What is an OSCE?

The acronym "OSCE" stands for "Objective Structured Clinical Examination".

The "objective" bit comes from the fact that everyone has the same exam.

And the examiners having to stick strictly to the same script.

This gets over the old problem of harsh and kindly examiners.

And different degrees of complexity when dealing with a real clinical case.

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Format of the exam


The RCOG's advice.

The RCOG gives basic advice.

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The physical layout.

The exam takes place in a large hall.

12 "stations" are arranged in a circuit around the hall.

Each station has a table and two or three chairs.

You sit on one side of the table.

The examiner and roleplayer, if there is one, sit on the other side of the table.

Sometimes there may be another consultant sitting in as an observer.

Each station has screens around it.

The information for the station is attached to the screens.

It is also stuck to the table.

The information consists of the "Candidate's Instruction".

This has to be read carefully, as it tells you exactly what you have to do.

Like the essays, there are no marks for doing stuff you have not been asked to do.

Any other information relating to the station will be there.

This could be a list of laboratory results, a list of patients on the labour ward etc.

Some candidates prefer to read the information and make any notes while outside the screens.

Others prefer to go in and read the information and make their notes on the table.

You are provided with a spiral-bound notebook, like those used by secretaries.

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Each station lasts 15 minutes.

The College says that one minute of that is initial reading time.

In practice, you could sit there reading for 14 minutes.

And then try to squeeze your answer in the remaining time.

No-one will stop you.

You will, of course, fail abysmally!

A bell is sounded one minute from the end of the station.

This is to give you time to finish and move to the next station.


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The Part 2 MRCOG oral examination consists of 12 stations. Ten of these stations will have an examiner present and two will be preparatory stations for the following one. Each station is 15 minutes long, with one minute of that initial reading time.
The format of questions may be as follows:

You may be asked to describe an operation in detail, which may include preoperative and postoperative discussions

Your communications skills will be assessed by your interaction with a role-player depicting a particular scenario

Your history-taking skills may be assessed

You may be presented with a clinical problem and asked to explain it to a role-player

You may be faced with a number of clnical problems and have to prioritise what needs to be done and by whom

You may be asked to describe, demonstrate or assemble some surgical equipment or teach skills using it

You may be asked to design an audit protocol

You may be asked to appraise critically an information leaflet
Each of the ten active stations carries equal marks.





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