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Long Case and Short case – MBBS and PG exam guide

  • December 18, 2014
  • 3 min read
Long Case and Short case – MBBS and PG exam guide

Making it through Theory paper is only part of the exam, the crucial part that still remains is the Practicals. For the Medical students, practical approaches are vigilantly observed and skills are assessed by the external examiner during the Short and long cases. Here are some information and useful tips and guide for Practical exams in Medical school, be it for MD/MS post-graduate level or MBBS.


Short Case-

Usually during final exams in any medical university curriculum, you will have to appear for 2 to 4 short cases. Short cases usually is meant to assess your quick approach capability, clinical correlation knowledge and most importantly the PRACTICAL SKILL ie, bedside methods.

Short case usually involves different domains as per Subject-

  1. System Examination- Cardiovascular examination, Chest examination, Motor examination, General physical examination etc
  2. Neonatal examination, Developmental assessment, Anthropometric evaluation
  3. Examination of Lump, Ulcers, Mass, Varicose veins, Peripheral artery disease, Breast and Thyroid examinations etc
  4. Short assessment and approaches

Each examination will be interfered in between or at the end by Viva questions, diagnosis and management.


  • Performing well in short case boost your confidence for Long case if following
  • Will help you pass with better marks
  • Spoiling one short case or two might not be that worrisome as long as your long case has gone good.
  • Sometimes a good short cases and OSCE can help you pass even when Long case has gone bad.
  • You can always score good by keeping examination skill at finger tips.



Long Case-

Long case are notoriously known for causing casualty when they go wrong. Actually Long case determine whether a student passes or not in a PG exam. It is an over all assessment of your combined knowlege, hardwork, practice, skill, intelligence and accuracy.

Usually university curriculum have 1 or 2 long cases.

What does long case include-

History taking


Historical and Provisional diagnosis


  1. Diagnosis
  2. Approach to investigation
  3. Management
  4. Recent advances
  5. Off topic questions

Usually an important disease or syndrome is kept for long case. Few examples are-

  1. Medicine- Stroke, Chronic Renal failure, Cirrhosis, Rheumatic heart disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, COPD , Interstiial lung disease etc
  2. Pediatrics- CNS cases, Cardiovascular cases, Developmental cases, Chronic liver disease, Chronic diarrhea, Malnutrition. For MBBS- nephrotic syndrome, Nephritic syndrome,hydrocephalus, Meningitis, CCF, Congenital heart disease etc.
  3. Surgery- Acute Pancreatitis, Cholelithiaisis, Renal stone, Varicose veins, Peripheral artery disease, Obstructive Jaundice, Thyroid swelling and Breast lumps.
  4. Gyne/Obs-  Antenatal cases, post Cesarean cases, PPH, APH, Fibroid, Cervical Ca, Molar pregnancy, Threatened abortion.


  • Long case determines your fate in most instances.
  • It is overall performance rather than single, don’t jump to diagnosis, focus equally on good history taking and examination as well.
  • Assesses your skill as a doctor in managing Admitted cases.
  • Assess you skill in precision to time.
  • A good long case means you always have a good chance of making through the practicals.
  • An opportunity to display your spectrum of knowledge to impress your examiner.


Further References-

Here is a Guide by Prof. P R Sharma in his website- http://www.prsharma.com.np/MDFinal.php

link to ppt Improving long and short case

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