Communication with and understanding your patients, how to ask questions


  • You have to communicate well with the virtual patient that’s what Examiners want.

  • Which means that candidates have to ask questions in way which patient can understand, also listen patients what they actually want to say and answer them clearly and delicately.

  • Your knowledge has measured in Part-1 examination so you don’t need to show your knowledge about any dices by telling its symptoms to patients, but examiner wants to see how you interact and manage with patients.

  • Many times candidates copy standard terms, which they have learnt in courses, which is not looking genuine.

  • Every Examiner knows set terms, which are frequently used by some candidates in the wrong context.

  • If you repeat your sentence while interacting with the patient then you can lose marks for interaction.

  • And you will score more if you carefully listening and responding to the patient.

  • Examiner wants that you should deal with patient as you are attending them as junior doctor in clinic.

  • And the clinical situations are designed to check your capability as junior doctor.


  • when you say “you have told me about everything” it will look like confidential

  • When candidates attend patients as their own learning benefit than they have to explain everything that you say will be kept confidential within the medical team, whereas students who talk to patients, the patients assume that doctors will keep details of the consultation confidential.

  • That’s way candidates should not say this because it’s could be sound odd to a patient. There may however be specific circumstances where it would be appropriate to say this.

  • For example, if a patient is worried about telling you something and you think this is because of confidentiality.

Say May I ask you a personal question?

  • It will be affect more that how you ask questions like for example when asking about symptoms to lifestyle habits and you say that I don’t like to ask you about lifestyle habits. Or you asking May I ask you a personal question? And after that you ask other questions such as Do you drink alcohol? Or do you smoke? It will look odd.

  • Because at many country adults are habitual for drinking alcohol and smoking then this kind of questions embarrass patient because it will caught as personal.

  • And if you fill this kind of questions has upset the patient then be apologies and explain them that it is part of treatment and with this we will get cleat idea about your problem.

Say May I ask you some questions. Is that OK?

  • As we see in real life patient are aware of that doctor will ask them some questions but it will looks odd if you use such sentence that “May I ask you some questions? Or adding is that OK?”

  • The right way to examine patient is to ask them “I would like to evaluate you, is that OK?” before proceeding.