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Essential Examination, second edition: step-by-step system-based guide to clinical examination with practical tips and key facts for OSCEs [Spiral-bound]

Alasdair K.B. Ruthven
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 16.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Sep 2010
Uniquely, Essential Examination lays out the full sequence for examination of one body system on one double-page spread – a format allowing rapid access to information and ideal for use in clinical environments for quick revision. And the spiral binding allows you to keep it open at the body system you need.

Each system-based examination offers a clear, step-by-step guide to examining that particular patient, including useful things to say to the patient (or an examiner), detailed descriptions of special tests, etc. Alongside this guide is the other key information you will need: potential findings, differential diagnoses of clinical signs and practical tips. In addition, the following double-page spread provides further facts relating to that particular examination, selected because of the regularity with which they are asked about in bedside teaching and OSCEs. The book also provides essential background information for anyone preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CS.

In many sections there are also tips on how to present your findings succinctly to help you keep on track. If you are examining patients on the wards, or preparing for exams, then you need Essential Examination!


1. Cardiovascular system
2. Heart murmurs
3. Respiratory system
4. Gastrointestinal system
5. Chronic renal failure / Renal transplant
6. Cranial nerves 1
7. Cranial nerves 2
8. Upper limb neurological system
9. Lower limb neurological system
10. Nerves of the hand
11. Extrapyramidal system / Tremor
12. Cerebellar function
13. Endocrine
14. Pregnant abdomen

15. Hands
16. Shoulder
17. Knee
18. Hip 19. Spine and gait
20. Groin hernia
21. Thyroid / Neck lump and thyroid status
22. Lower limb arterial system
23. Lower limb venous system
24. Intimate examinations
25. Lumps and skin lesions
26. Anterior abdominal wall

A. Lymph nodes of the head and neck
B. Key differential diagnoses

Frequently Bought Together

Essential Examination, second edition: step-by-step system-based guide to clinical examination with practical tips and key facts for OSCEs + The Unofficial Guide to Passing OSCEs (Unofficial Guides to Medicine) + Oxford Cases in Medicine and Surgery
Price For All Three: 75.69

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Scion Publishing; 2 edition (22 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904842844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904842842
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 1.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"...[Essential Examination] can be considered as a very helpful aide-memoire as practitioners build up their confidence and clinical experience. Although developed with medics in mind, it could be very useful for advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants; in fact, any health care professional would find it useful as a revision aid particularly when learning with peers. The book is clearly and succinctly written. It is not designed to teach students how to carry out examinations, but in a systematic way it links clinical examination (what you do) to pathophysiology and diagnosis (what you may find and what it means). It is produced in a landscape format in a ring binder which makes it easy to access when on a busy attachment or shift. It very helpfully lists the abbreviations at the beginning..." --International Journal of Clinical Skills

About the Author

Alasdair K.B. Ruthven, MBChB (Hons), BSc (Hons), is a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A uniquely useful OSCE book! 22 Feb 2011
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A unique and nicely organised clinical examination book.

An unusual format: Each examination is a double page spread in landscape format. Each element of the examination is presented in the correct order down the spread.

The information is presented in columns for 'Method of examination' (which covers just the right amount of detail) and a very useful column for 'Potential Findings' and 'Differential diagnoses'. Nice and clear.

When starting out the book can be laid flat while running through the examination (on a friend) with the examination on display for a quick glance without turning the page.

This book is also unique as it sits nicely in between the wordy texts like Mcleods and the listy books like Burton (which is also pretty good and is by the same publisher). It is very recent and really reflects the current requirements for Undergrad OSCEs in the UK in both content and depth and is therefore unique.

It is a slim volume but it is all here (well very very nearly) and nothing extra do divert or distract.

The only omissions are one or two of the specific womans health examinations and a section on childrens health examinations. I still give it 5 stars because nothing else comes close.

I also liked this book becasue it feels current and totally relevent; possibly because it was written originally as a set of revision notes by a UK student; Now an F2 Doctor. It is published by a small publishing house rather than one of the mega publishers... which is nice and contributes to the unique un-corporate feel of the work.

I would put this at the top of the list for anyone in their clinical years.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for last minute revision 9 Feb 2013
By tc88
This book has all the basics laid out in bullet point format with a double page for each system. It goes through things as you would in an osce and gives examples of possible findings and explanations of why. Each system is followed by possible questions you might be asked. It's easy to glance at if you need a quick recap. Don't know how I'd manage without it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 4 Jan 2013
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Excellent clear conscise book on how to do well in an osce. It doesn't go over communication stations but if you we're slick at all the examinations like it tells you in this book you will fly through!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 26 Sep 2012
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I used a friend's copy during my 4th year exams and HAD to purchase this before my 5th year finals. It's a superb book with helpful, concise and discerning content. I would advise it to everyone at medical school who is doing OSCE/Clinical-style examinations. The author's tuned-in approach to what we need in exams is spot on. Would advise above and beyond the conventional textbooks which don't get down and to the point for final-year students. If you're the sort of person who likes hands-on learning and actually going through lots of real patients before exams and are looking for a list to learn and regurgitate when actually practicing your examinations - this is the book for you. You won't regret it. David.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No matter what stage you're at, get this book 15 Jun 2012
By H.T
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Fantastic book. Finally, a book which combines clinical examination with the signs you're looking for and what they actually mean. Plus, the little 'important things to know' page after each examination section is full of classic examiner questions. I got this like 3 weeks before my finals, but wish I'd bought it years ago!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent revision guide: A MUST HAVE!! 30 Oct 2010
This is a fantastic book and a must for all medical students. The unique strength of this book is the lay out - all important examinations each on a single page. The small pointers are also invlauable and the questions on the reverse side of each examination are perfect for pre-finals revision. This book played a big role in helping me pass my medical school finals. A MUST HAVE!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended 18 Jun 2014
By Mogley
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This is probably the most concise book I've come across when it comes to improving clinical examination. To the point and great explanations throughout the book. 100% recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good delivery, and great book! 11 Feb 2014
By jen
Verified Purchase
My order arrived on time, and in good order (double wrapped in bubble wrap too! I was so pleased!)
I'm also very pleased with the customer services, which emailed me to check if everything arrived safely.
The book's great! Everything you need to know for OSCEs in point form.
Would recommend this book to medical students sitting for third/fourth/final year osces!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Precise, concise, no waffle, just the basics for passing OSCE's. Lovely book specifically designed for rote learning. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful book
This is one of the best books I have found as a preparation aid for undertaking OSCEs. The layout is very clear and precise. Read more
Published 7 months ago by mprod
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant guide
Used this for finals. It has almost everything need for all 3 clinical years except some gynae stuff and GALS. should have bought it in 3rd year. It is mainly for checklists. Read more
Published 7 months ago by David Ensor
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need and nothing else
This book is without a doubt the best cramming tool available for OSCEs, in contrast to larger volumes such as McCleods and Hutchinsons, this book is concise and clear. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Oscar To
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for learning & revising your clinical examinations both...
If you are looking for a title that will give you a succinct outline & summary of the major examinations that you will be asked to undertake on the wards & in the clinical/OSCE... Read more
Published 12 months ago by LancsMedStudent
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for practice!
Excellent step-by-step procedures of clinical examination of each system that help us medical students revise our clinical skills. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Teng Yik Hoo
5.0 out of 5 stars great product
great product, received it quickly without problems. has a very nice layout for explaining why you look for certain things in a examination rather than just telling you to do them.
Published 15 months ago by F. J. D. Devonport
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