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   May 26

Presenting The Mental Health Viva

The Mental Health Viva is split into three sections.

According to Jane Turner (Block Head), the following is expected:

You are expected to highlight the core features (please don’t just read out the proforma!) including key aspects of mental state, then give a diagnosis and differential. The examiners will ask you what other information you want (gaps in history), and they will also ask you to talk about management. So the first three minutes is the “guts” of the case and what is wrong in your opinion. If you can make some links between diagnosis and other information, that is good eg. if the person might be depressed, and they have a past history of depression, to say that the diagnosis is likely to be depression, and the past history of depression makes you feel that this is more likely than an adjustment disorder.

So basically:

  • The Summary of Patient Presentation(3 minutes)
  • The patient is John Doe age 36 **insert any other relevant demographics eg father of two**
    presenting with symptoms of **Insert provisional diagnosis here>. These include **Insert list of relevant symptoms** on a background of **Insert known mental history**.

    This presentation appears to have been precipitated by: **Insert precipitating factors here**.

    Pertinent features of his mental state exam include: **Insert pertinent MSE features**

    John has **Insert relevant past history history including developmental, social, forensic, occupational etc**

    Diagnoses include: **Insert list of differential diagnoses**

    I believe the diagnosis to be **Insert diagnosis** because…..

  • Gaps in the history(about 5 or 10 minutes maybe)
  • You need to identify gaps in the history. Ideally in the preparation time you shoul have written out the headings of the Psych History and also the headings of the MSE and fill in the blanks.

    Thus you can identify pertinent parts of the history that are missing that you would like to be able to fill in.

  • Management of the patient(the rest of the time)
  • See the separate document for the Management of a psych patient (Viva).

And that’s basically it. Answer any questions they have and cross your fingers and hope you have passed.

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