3 tips for preparing your clinical exam

Your nerves are likely going to be taught when you walk in to take your clinical exam. It is the culmination of years of work and study. Preparing well ahead of time is the key to moving through your exam smoothly and with as few negative incidents as possible.

Looking and acting smart

When you take your clinical exam, remember that first impressions count. Dress professionally, and smile. These are basic tips to remember, but looking the part and being friendly to your patient go a long way in helping him to relax during the exam. To your examiners, your professional look will let them know you are taking the exam seriously. Be patient and polite, and avoid jumping to conclusions. Thoroughly examine your patient, and be gentle in touch and word as you do so. Avoid learning a set of lines of what to say during the exam from your textbook. Be yourself, and show what you have learned.

Start early

Request to start examining patients well before your clinical exam so that you can become accustomed to the routine. You will be more relaxed during your exam if you have had plenty of prior experience. The feedback from your initial exams with your senior colleagues present will help you fine tune how you proceed with exams. Consider signing up for a preparation course with a low teacher to student ratio and with instructors who used to be examiners. Know the format of the test, as well as the content in depth. If there are areas in which you have not had much clinical experience or education, request to get it at a different clinic or from a tutor before your exam.


If you forget a step in a procedure or part of the examination, go back and do it. It is better to remember late than not to remember at all. One very important first step to avoid forgetting is to wash your hands when you begin the exam. If you are at a station that has equipment like gloves and an apron out for you to use, take advantage of it, and use it. Your examiners put it out for a reason. When you leave the exam, leave confidently and quietly.

Your clinical exam is a major step on your way to practicing medicine. And though these are only a few tips that will help you study for your exam, you can also seek out other kinds of help as well like Berkeley Training Associates. Be sure to take your examination seriously, but avoid causing yourself too much stress by simply knowing what you need to know and learning it before the exam.


Author’s Bio: My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball. 




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