Neurology assessment by objective structured video examination

Peter Watson, Michael Stevenson, Stanley Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to carry out a neurological examination and make an appropriate differential diagnosis is one of the mainstays of our final Bachelor of Medicine (MB) exam; however, with the introduction of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) it has become impossible to arrange for adequate numbers of suitable real patients to participate in the exam.

It is vital that newly qualified doctors can perform a basic neurological examination, interpret the physical signs and formulate a differential diagnosis.

It is vital that newly qualified doctors can perform a basic neurological examination

Since 2010 we have introduced an objective structured video examination (OSVE) of a neurological examination of a real patient as part of our final MB OSCE exam. The students view clips of parts of the examination process. They answer questions on the signs that are demonstrated and formulate a differential diagnosis.

This type of station is logistically a lot easier to organise than a large number of real patients at different examination sites. The featured patients have clearly demonstrated signs and, as every student sees the same patient, are perfectly standardised. It is highly acceptable to examiners and performed well as an assessment tool. There are, however, certain drawbacks in that we are not examining the student's examination technique or their interaction with the patient. Also, certain signs, in particular the assessment of muscle tone and power, are more difficult for a student to estimate in this situation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-351
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Teacher
Issue number5
Early online date23 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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