UCL Medical School


Patient Volunteers

Volunteers needed to help the next generation

UCL Medical School needs patient volunteers to help us train the next generation of doctors.

What kind of volunteers?

We need patients who are well enough to spend a day or half-day participating in our Undergraduate MBBS OSCE Examinations.

The exam stations for which we need patient volunteers focus on examination skills. We have exams running throughout the year and need to recruit on a regular basis to make sure that our exams remain unpredictable and tough!

We pay patient travel expenses or arrange taxis. We also provide an M&S voucher as a token of thanks for the valuable time that patients give up to help us. We are very grateful to all the patients who have participated in the past, and in particular our regular volunteers, without whom we couldn't train and assess our students.

If you are someone who would be willing to volunteer, please ask your doctor to pass your details on to us. 

If you are a doctor working in a UCL-affiliated hospital, GP practice, or community service who can suggest a patient volunteer see below, and check our Example Conditions for more information

Suggest a patient volunteer

We need the help of doctors working in our local hospitals and services to recruit patient volunteers.

If you meet a patient who has stable signs on examination (please see the Example Conditions) and who is well enough to attend a half or full day OSCE, please ask if they might be willing to participate in our examinations at UCL Medical School.

You do not need to explain all the details of the process but you should explain briefly what is involved in participating in an undergraduate OSCE.

Please take consent from the patient for them to be contacted by UCL Medical School and then send us the details as below. We will do the rest, and phone them to explain the process in detail. They can decline to participate at any stage of the process. 

We manage their information securely and in accordance with GDPR legislation.

Send us an email at Tina Nyazika with the following information:

  • patient name
  • patient telephone number
  • brief details of signs and symptoms, please attach a recent clinic letter if possible
  • confirmation that the patient agrees to be contacted by UCL Medical School
  • confirmation that the patient is well enough to attend exams


Example Conditions 

"He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all." William Osler 

Every patient has something to teach medical students and we strive to involve patients as educators in every aspect of the curriculum. 

However, for the purposes of Undergraduate MBBS Examinations there are specific signs and symptoms that we look for to test our students' clinical skills.

Specific signs and symptoms

This list is not exhaustive or restrictive, but gives an indication of some of the possible conditions that may be appropriate for stations in examination skills. 

There is nothing in this information that is not widely known by candidates. 


  • Any audible murmur
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Heart failure (right/left/congestive) 


  • COPD
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Previous tuberculosis
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Thoracic surgery


  • Any palpable organomegaly: Liver; Kidneys (including transplant); Spleen
  • Chronic liver disease of any cause
  • Ascites 
  • Stoma


  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cranial nerve lesions
  • Isolated peripheral nerve or nerve root lesions