Oral Examination


The oral examination is based on briefly written cases. It will be administered during the last week of the clerkship. The exact time and location are subject to change. The student will prepare six written cases and must submit the case list electronically to the examiner and the Clerkship Coordinator by the evening prior to the examination. You may use your case list as notes, but no other notes will be permitted. PLEASE KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE. You may not keep extensive notes on your case list. Your case list must be brief and contain only basic information. A faculty member will examine each student based on the cases presented, but may also use cases to segue into related topics. Clearly, students should be well-informed and familiar with their own cases and should have done sufficient study to have developed a sound general knowledge base.

The purpose of the oral examination is to evaluate the student’s ability to present clinical knowledge in a well-organized, succinct, and cogent manner. It allows the faculty to evaluate the student’s skill in developing and narrowing down a differential diagnosis. It is a way for the faculty to assess your ability to integrate your knowledge of women’s health into clinical situations. It is not intended to test a student’s memory of how each particular case was handled. Good presentation skills are a hallmark of a good clinician and demonstrate a high level of understanding and confidence. It is important that students learn these skills quickly. You will be called upon during postgraduate training and throughout your professional careers to present and discuss clinical data in an informed way.


  • To evaluate the ability of each student to present in an organized and clear fashion a few select cases in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • To evaluate the ability of each student to understand and discuss the pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis, and treatment of a few select cases.
  • To test the reasoning skills of the student.

Organization of Case Lists

  • Each student will prepare a brief synopsis for each of 6 cases in a specific format. Students should list cases from the patients they have evaluated and treated during the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship.
  • Each case list should include two obstetric cases, two gynecology cases, and two cases from the ambulatory practice, either obstetrics or gynecology. The entire case list should contain six cases. You should try to select ” bread and butter” topics.
  • If you are uncertain as to the types of caes to include or would like feedback on your case list, you may email it one week in advance to Dr. Madani for review.

Structure of the Examination

  • Each student will have a 20-30 minute oral examination with a faculty member.
  • Students may bring a copy of their case list but no other notes or materials to the oral examination.
  • The faculty examiner will ask the student to make a 3-5 minute brief presentation on a case. You must be prepared to provide a thorough yet concise oral presentation that includes HPI, PMH, etc. along with assessment and plan. An 8-10 minute question and answer period will follow. The question and answer period will focus on the risk factors, pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation including laboratory tests and imaging studies, and treatment options.
  • The faculty member will then ask you to present a second case,¬† which will be followed by a question and answer period in the same format
  • The faculty member will provide you with feedback afterwards, but not your final oral exam evaluation.
  • ¬†Please do not exceed one page


  • The oral examination will comprise 20% of your clerkship grade. (The other 20% is the NBME Shelf examination and 60% is your clinical performance).
  • The oral exam evaluation form link is below. You should be familiar with this form.