Cardiff MRCS OSCE course: Applied Surgical Sciences and Critical Care

Provided by

About the course

In the MRCS OSCE exam, the surgical trainees are expected to have a good working knowledge of general physiological principles, core knowledge of the physiology of specific systems and an understanding of their application in surgical practice. This intensive one-day revision course will provide the candidates with an overview of basic physiological principles, and the physiology of the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and the central nervous systems. The course will be delivered using a series of interactive lectures with OSCE focus and OSCE scenarios. All major areas as stipulated in the MRCS Part B syllabus will be covered.

Topics covered

General physiological principles:

  • Acid-base imbalance (metabolic and respiratory acidosis/alkalosis) and their management
  • Fluid balance and fluid replacement therapy
  • Bleeding and coagulation
  • Management of sepsis and septic shock
  • Homeostasis and thermoregulation

Cardiovascular system:

  • Cardiac pressure cycle
  • Control of cardiac output
  • Blood pressure and its control mechanisms
  • Ionotropes
  • Surgical in patients with cardiovascular pathologies

Respiratory system:

  • Normal ventilatory cycle
  • Causes and management of post-operative respiratory failure
  • Intermittent positive pressure ventilation
  • Acute (adult) respiratory distress syndrome
  • Applied critical care physiology during the peri-operative period

Endocrine system:

  • Thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
  • Parathyroid hormones, their disorders and calcium metabolism
  • Glucose homeostasis and diabetes
  • Function of the pituitary and adrenal glands
  • Erythropoietin

Renal system:

  • Renal autoregulation
  • Renin-angiotensin system
  • Types and management of renal failure

Central nervous system:

  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Space-occupying lesions
  • Head Injuries and management

Gastrointestinal system:

  • Gut hormones
  • Pancreatic function
  • Peristalsis and ileus


  • Assessment, pathophysiology and principles of management

Management of patients undergoing surgery:

  • Principles of Epidural Anaesthesia/Assessment
  • Pain pathways
  • Resuscitation, Temperature Regulation and Hypothermia

Management of trauma 

Surgical Microbiology 


Related article

Donna Cummins offers guidance for budding dermatology trainees looking for the right course or event to match their interests and stage of training