• Mubashar Hussain Sherazi


In most of the objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), one can expect to have at least two psychiatric stations. Many candidates considered these to be the most challenging ones. Usually these are history taking and discussing a management plan with the patient or the examiner. Sometimes in these stations, you may be asked to counsel the patient regarding the expected diagnosis. Psychiatric stations are also challenging in a way that a large number of questions need to be asked in a limited time frame. The purpose of psychiatric history is to identify patient physical and psychosocial problems and to rule out the common differential diagnosis. At the end, you wrap up with a treatment plan. It is equally important to extract vital information about the patient and patient’s family, including mental illnesses, smoking/drugs/alcohol use, sexual activity, child/spouse abuse, and living circumstances.

This chapter will outline common psychiatry topics important for OSCE. An overview of the pattern of history taking required for psychiatry stations is given in the start of the chapter, followed by important topics. It is extremely important to read the key points in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for these topics so you can familiarize the key aspects of each scenario. Another important part of the psychiatric stations is to memorize common medications used in different psychiatric disorders, which are often asked in post-encounter questions. Patients may ask about the side effects and duration of treatment. Depression and panic attacks are the most commonly asked scenarios in most of the OSCE.


Psychiatry Depression Mania Bipolar disorder Anxiety Panic attack Obsessive compulsive disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder Conversion disorder Somatization disorder Psychosis Schizophrenia Eating disorder Drug seeker Suicide attempt Dementia Mental status examination Mini-mental status examination Violent patient 

Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Hurley KF. Chapter 10. Psychiatry. In: OSCE and clinical skills handbook. 2nd ed. Toronto: Elsevier Canada; 2011. p. 283–299.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The Psychiatric Exam. Amy Ng and Julia Zhu, editors. Essentials of Clinical Examination, 6th. New York: Thieme; 2010. p. 317–334.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jugovic PJ, Bitar R, McAdam LC. Fundamental clinical situations: a practical OSCE study guide. Canada: Elsevier Saunders; 2003.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gao Z-H, Howell J, Naert K (eds). OSCE & LMCC-II: Review notes, 2nd ed. Canada: Brush Education; 2009.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed: USA: DSM–5. American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
  6. 6.
    DSM-5. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.
  7. 7.
    Folstein MF, Robins LN, Helzer JE. The mini-mental state examination. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(7):812. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mini-mental state examination. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.
  9. 9.
    Frankford RTS. Mental status exam. Can Fam Physician. 1977;23:145. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Martin DC. Ch 207. The mental status examination. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical methods: the history, physical, and laboratory examinations. 3rd ed. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The royal children’s hospital Melbourne. Clinical practice guidelines: Mental state examination. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.
  12. 12.
    Monash University. Mental state examination examples. Accessed 17 Oct 2017.
  13. 13.
    Simon C, Everitt H, van Dorp F, Burkes M. Oxford handbook of general practice. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mubashar Hussain Sherazi
    • 1
  1. 1.Mallacoota Medical CentreMallacootaAustralia

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