Thursday, 29 November 2007

Of course you can prod and poke me

Today was the 4th Year OSCE for which I've spent the day being a patient. Yesterday I was informed that I should bring shorts, this was a surprise as I'd guessed that I'd be on the shoulder exam station (there is ALWAYS a shoulder exam - well there used to be!). From this I could deduce that I'd either be doing hip, knee or lower limb neuro examination.

As it turned out, I spent the day having my hips examined. It has been a very long day but despite that, it was good fun. I rotated with another volunteer but I must have had 25+ hip exams today, (my hips now feel far worse than they did this morning). It was actually quite exhausting, I don't know why, and I've lost count of the number of times I've confirmed my name and date of birth. By the end I was struggling to remember my own date of birth, at one point I confused one poor girl by telling her I was born in 1895, oops.

The quality of the students differed quite significantly, confidence seems to be the main differentiating factor. Take for example one guy who was very confident and whose knowledge was adequate compared to a very nervous but exceptionally knowledgeable girl. The girl's mark suffered as a consequence of her nervousness whereas the boy gained significantly by being confident (even though it might well have been false confidence).

I was there all day but at lunchtime the examiners changed. I was surprised just how much difference this made. This morning's examiner was quite harsh, he kept putting people off their rhythm with silly questions. The afternoon's examiner, was comparatively lenient, and he let the students get on with it. I suppose it all evens out over the whole exam, but still, they are VERY subjective.

The majority of students wanted to remove my shorts for the examination! Fortunately the first examiner explained that I was adequately exposed but when it came to the afternoon, even the examiner thought I should remove my shorts! Luckily one of the admin staff overheard and saved me. I did get poked in some awkward places though!

It was very interesting to see the exams from the other side of the fence, it was good experience (I could do a perfect hip exam now) and it was good fun. I've lost count of how many biscuits I ate throughout the day. Most of which were to make up for the awful free lunch we were given. Honestly the canteen could do with a visit from Gordon Ramsey, their food tastes like its come out of the wrong end of a cow.

I'm sure there was much more that I wanted to say about today but it escapes me, and right now I'm going to spend some of my hard earned cash from today on takeaway for me and missbliss. mmmmm tasty!

(There is one bit of extra gossip but that is suitable for reallm eyes only)


Xavier Emmanuelle said...

I've always thought that being a test subject for OSCEs would be a great way to learn medical skills! I'm sure you're gonna be really really good at MSK exams from now on. Good on ya!

jessica said...

ahahahaha, that would be incredibly awkward.... removing your shorts.... sigh

How do you do a hip exam anyways?

Anonymous said...

well done LM, another £40?

It's good to hear about OSCEs and confidence, I think I can pull off false confidence quite well, but there's a fine line between that and arrogance (particularly when knowledge isn't all there)

Michael said...

I know this is a touch random, but do you hand out invitations to the realLM page to your nearest and dearest or your most frequent readers or? (Just curious since I quite enjoy your blog and wanted to know what you write about on your semi-private one)

the little medic said...

michael - realLM invites are for anyone as long as i've got some idea who they are. You've obviosuly been blogging for a while so just drop me an email to imamedicalstudentgetmeoutofhere[at] and i'll sort you out an invite :)

the little medic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Misha said...

Well it seems like you earned your £40! I was quite surprised at some of the stations too; particularly that there were two cranial nerve examinations. One of the Admin team at our hospital is very kind though and 'accidentally' left a lot of relevent equipment around. My hip station was somewhat embarressing as I knew the guy I had to examine from our previous life before we joined this medical school, if you follow my drift.


ditzydoctor said...

oh my. not very fun innit!

and it's a good thing you were saved - else you might have gotten poked in alot more than awkward places! cripes!

Ms-Ellisa said...

Imagine if you were supposed to pretend that you had a "slapped face"... that would have been funny...

*studying pediatrics*

Beach Bum said...

I worked for two years as a Standardized Patient before I started med school. I think I have sat through the equivalent of between 6 and 8 years of clinical skills teaching.

It was a great way to learn how to do clinical exams. Although I'm bored to tears in my own Clinical Methods class, because I've heard it all before.

I know what you mean about your hips being sore at the end of the day. The knee exam used to make me the most uncomfortable by the end.