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Examining in the CSA

The first thing to remember is that the type of examination expected in 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 – is looking for finger clubbing and splinter haemorrhages important in the cardiovascular examination – no – but auscultating for heart sounds is.   Remember, it is all about the what the average good GP does.   

The second thing to remember is that you will never be required to do a general examination of the patient in the CSA.  It will be a focused examination of a 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.

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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…

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