The universal GP Training website for everyone, not just Bradford.   Created in 2002 by Dr Ramesh Mehay

Bradford VTS Online Resources

Clinical Skills

Clinical Examination - for General Practice & the CSA (with video clips)

Examining in General Practice & the CSA

The first thing to remember is that the type of examination expected in General Practice or the CSA is NOT the same as the too detailed examination you were taught as a medical student.   They are looking for they type of examination that a reasonable GP would do.    For example – which do you think is more important in the general cardiovascular examination – looking for splinter haemorrhages or auscultating for the heart sounds?  GPs take educated and intelligent shortcuts from the usual  comprehensive and detailed medical student type clinical examinations.   Why?  Because we have  the time-limited 10 minute consultation.  Something has to give and so we end up focusing on clinical examination things that are more likely to aid us in an accurate diagnosis/management plan than those that are less helpful.  So, remember, develop a clinical examination technique that mirrors what the average competent GP does.  

In fact, the CSA is also all about the what the average good GP does. Another things to remember for the CSA is that you will never be required to do a general complete examination of the patient.  It will be a focused examination of a particular system (usually).   The reason for this is that THEY WANT TO SEE if you have the DECISION-MAKING SKILLS to decide which examination to focus on.

Common examinations are chest, cardiovascular, abdo, neuro, ENT and knee, back, hips and shoulders.  In terms of a chest examination – undress the patient, do not auscultate through clothes.  Work on your neuro examination in particular – get it down to 2 minutes – see clip below.  

And finally, once you have decided what to do – SIGNPOST IT – and get on and do a swift examination.

Please wait wait for the video clips BELOW to load...(15 secs)

Video Demos - Basic Systems

Video Demos - Musculoskeletal

Video Demos - Special Areas

Please leave a comment below if you have any words of wisdom to help others or if you have any questions you wish to ask…

2 thoughts on “clinical examination for the csa”

  1. You are absolutely right Megan. The site is going through a massive make-over and there is just me to do it. But I will change this when I get a moment. Ramesh

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Bradford VTS was created by Dr. Ramesh Mehay, a Programme Director for Bradford GP Training Scheme back in 2001. Over the years, it has seen many permutations.  At the time, there were very few resources for GP trainees and their trainers so Bradford decided to create one FOR EVERYONE. 

So, we see Bradford VTS as  the INDEPENDENT vocational training scheme website providing a wealth of free medical resources for GP trainees, their trainers and TPDs everywhere and anywhere.  We also welcome other health professionals – as we know the site is used by both those qualified and in training – such as Associate Physicians, ANPs, Medical & Nursing Students. 

Our fundamental belief is to openly and freely share knowledge to help learn and develop with each other.  Feel free to use the information – as long as it is not for a commercial purpose.   

We have a wealth of downloadable resources and we also welcome copyright-free educational material from all our users to help build our rich resource (send to

Our sections on (medical) COMMUNICATION SKILLS and (medical) TEACHING & LEARNING are perhaps the best and most comprehensive on the world wide web (see white-on-black menu header section on the homepage).