In the MRCS ENT OSCE, communication skills assessment can be verbal, non-verbal or written. Verbal and non-verbal skills are assessed in history taking, examination skills, consenting, explaining a diagnosis and breaking bad news stations. Written communications skills are assessed by writing an operation note, discharge summary or transfer letter.
The following sections describe how to success in these stations. However, practicing with a colleague or partner to get into the habit of well-structured clear communication is key. Memorising typical rates of important complications, time off work and follow-up times is useful for specific common procedures. Patients may ask about these specifically in life and in exams!
You will need to try and commit the structure of an operation note, discharge letter and transfer letter to memory. Spend time practicing this as well as these are easy marks in the exam if done well.
Top Tip: If you cannot remember the rate of a complication and the patient asks for one, say the following: "I will check with your consultant because surgeons audit their own complications and often they have specific rates."