Lower limb arterial examination

  • Candidate Instructions
  • Actor Instructions
  • Mark Sheet
  • Score

Location: Foundation doctor in vascular clinic

Patient: 60 year old, having pains in legs


– Perform a lower limb arterial examination

– After 6 minutes you will be asked a series of questions by the examiner.

Note to actor:Try to restrain yourself from volunteering too much information – you may do so when prompted (that is, by a specific question, not a general one). If a student is on the wrong line of clinical reasoning do not fuel this line of thinking, state no to the question as being ambiguous may prompt further questioning and does not allow the student to be appropriately tested. The aim of the exercise is to take a focused history; short answers are required.


You are a 60 year old patient who has come into vascular clinic. You are happy to be examined.



If the candidate appears to have finished early remind them how long is left at the station and enquire if there is anything else they would like to ask, or whether they have finished. If they have finished, please remain silent and allow the candidate that time for reflection.

Category Question
Introduction Candidate appropriately introduced themselves with:
Full name
Medical school / year / grade
Clarifies who they are talking to
Asks patient for preferred name

Examination introduction
Washes hands
Appropriately exposes patient
Positions patient correctly at 45 degrees

Inspection Inspection
Peripheral oedema
Skin changes

Palpation Palpation
Capillary refill time

Pulses Pulses
Posterior tibial
Dorsalis pedis

Special tests
Buerger’s test

Conclusion Finishing remarks
Invites patient to dress again
Re-washes hands
Offers to do ABPI / full cardiovascular examination