The Long & short case

Original Author(s): MCQMED Team

Short Case and Long Case exams are just another exam medical students have to deal with, sigh!

What is a short case?

In a short case examination, the candidate is expected to examine a body system or anatomical area with a time period of 8-12 minutes

Following the examination, the candidate must give a 3-5 minute summary of:

  • The examination findings
  • The likely differential diagnosis based on the finding
  • The probable causes and severity of the condition in question
  • A general discussion on the points mentioned above

What is long case?

A long case is a form or clinical examination when the candidate discusses a specific case with a professional in the medical field

The examination lasts for around 20 minutes per long case scenario and looks to replicate a consultation with a patient

The examination is broken down into 3 distinct segments

  • History taking
  • Focused examination
  • Discussion with the medical professional to summarize findings

How to ace the exam?

  • Rehearse like an actor
  • Learn to ‘think on your feet’
  • Be organized – have all your equipment ready to go before you start the exam
  • Always be polite – exams like the neurological examination involves a lot of patient co-operation; a script of ambiguous questions would help
  • Take your time – don’t panic if there seems to be a lot of abnormal symptoms. Take it one step at a time

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