Obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and related disorders | Medical Council of Canada
Close this search box.
MCC Examination Objectives Medical expertObsessive-compulsive (OCD) and related disorders

Obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and related disorders

Version: February 2017
Legacy ID: 123


OCD is characterized by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions. OCD and other disorders with similar manifestations (body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding, trichotillomania, etc.) are a significant source of morbidity and impaired quality of life. OCD is frequently comorbid with other disorders (see causal conditions).

Causal Conditions

(list not exhaustive)

  1. Adverse childhood experiences (e.g., abuse, behavioural inhibition)
  2. Genetic neurological dysfunction
  3. Other psychiatric disorders (e.g., tic disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorder)
  4. Other medical conditions (e.g., infections)

Key Objectives

Given a patient with obsessions and/or compulsive behaviour, the candidate will diagnose the condition, along with its severity and possible complications. Particular attention should be paid to possible etiology and coexisting conditions.

Enabling Objectives

Given an individual with an obsessive and/or compulsive behaviour

  1. List and interpret critical clinical findings, including those derived from
    1. a thorough history aimed at estimating the severity of the disorder and other comorbid or etiologic factors;
    2. a physical examination aimed at ruling out physical complications (e.g., dermatologic);
  2. List and interpret critical investigations, including where appropriate
    1. drug screening;
    2. neurological imaging;
    3. infectious agents;
  3. Construct an effective management plan, including
    1. determining whether pharmacological intervention (e.g., SSRI medication) is indicated in this case;
    2. referring for specialized care (e.g., psychological services, family counselling), if required;
    3. anticipating potential psychosocial impact.