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New book helps medical students master clinical skills

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Nov. 12, 2008) For medical students who spend years studying textbooks in preparation for written exams on theoretical concepts, it can be rather intimidating to prepare for a test on practical skills used in the clinic. The third edition of a best-selling book that helps medical students prepare for these daunting practical-skills tests, Clinical Skills for OSCEs, was recently released by Scion Publishing (

The OSCE, or Objective Structured Clinical Exam, is a clinical competency test where medical students rotate through a series of stations. At each station, they meet and interview simulated patients, conduct a physical exam, and diagnose them for a specific condition in a given amount of time. The test is widely used in medical schools throughout the world to teach and evaluate patient-centered skills.

In a review of the second edition of Clinical Skills for OSCEs, Professor Sir Cyril Chantler commented that the text is "concise, informative, and comprehensive . . . anyone who has mastered its content will sail through the final OSCE."

The third edition has been completely revised and updated based on feedback from medical students. It is the most comprehensive clinical skills handbook yet available and covers virtually all clinical skills that are taught or tested at medical school. In addition to substantial updates to content, the third edition is in full-color and includes dozens of photographs of clinical signs.

Each chapter covers one or more related body systems, and the material is presented clearly and concisely. More difficult skills, such as reading electrocardiograms and interpreting blood test results, are covered in more detail. Additional chapters on communication skills, prescribing and administrative skills, emergency medicine, and data interpretation are also included.

According to Dr. Humayun Ayub, who reviewed Clinical Skills for OSCEs in the International Journal of Clinical Skills, the latest edition is "a must have for all students!"


Contact: Jane Carter
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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