Monday, 14 November 2011


The FM is gearing up for exams, especially the OSCE where she/he will be forced to go round 12 lots of stations examining patients, discussing ethics or looking at radiology stuff. Or pretending a dummy has anaphylactic shock with the words "rash" written on its chest.

But the problem is these exams are nerve wracking and yet at the same time encourage people to make up markschemes and learn them by rote. They do not encourage thinking.

Take the abdominal station, if I see someone who is well (i.e. stable) in an OSCE, I can deduce that they will have bowel sounds and are very unlikely to have a uraemic/liver/CO2 retention flap.

But he/she still has to go through the motions of listening to bowel sounds etc.

Is this a bad thing? Routine is go isn't it? Aren't you less likely to make mistakes if you follow the same patter?

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