We passed our clinical exams, alhamdulillah. And off we go for our rotations.. Alhamdulillah I still have Sham with me.. Sadly though for us Tham has to go through her clinical exams another round. Hizam is a different story, wife is expecting so he needs to not be on call and able to run back at any point of time the bell rings!! So he chose IJN.
Before I tell you the drama which involved our rotations, I would like to just enlighten you on the clinical exams.
First of all, be prepared. Come to think about it a once per week clinical session is actually a wise thing to have. My tip is for you to go through any video on You Tube on clinical examinations, one at a time, and practice as per video. Get an instructor, one of your friendly specialists to help you out, and always always always time yoursef. Give yourself the 6-7 minutes you will get in the real exam, and an extra 3 for discussion purposes. Practice presentation, which is a plus point during clinical exams.
Personally, if i was to give marks to myself, i would say that i had had failed all stations except for one which I was quite confident of, respiratory. However when the results were out, alhamdulillah I passed. Looking back, i think my only strong point which managed to pass me was that i finished the examination routine for each and every station within 7 minutes and then presented. Finishing the examination has a heavy weight in the overall clinical exams. If you manage to finish, you will manage to get your findings although you might not be able to wrap them up in a nice package, ie good presentation. Examination routine gives you marks, clinical findings another, then comes in the discussions etc. so however badly you have done in the exams, just finish the examination routine and propose your findings. Usually if you have seen quite a number of cases, you will be able to illicit the findings.
Books. Ryder for MRCP PACES is a great book to begin with. Most of our specialists recommends Ryder. Although very concise, once you go through Ryder’s a few times you will understand why they recommend it. It sums up each case in a concise, straight to the point and non-lengthy explanation. Other recommended books will be the Oxford for PACES as well and a few others by our local authors. It is good to buy one which you deem fit for you and use it throughout rather than change from one to another. Or you could be like me, buy all and end up in a big mess. Heheh.
I was from Klinik Kesihatan, where i had little clinical practice. I used to be in the NCD unit, where we checked patients with hypertension, diabetes, IHD etc. and no, you don’t palpate the apex or percuss the chest or measure the spleens of these people. They are stable, they come to see and talk to you, and get their medications and go back. Then I went to maternal and child healthcare, so my best clinical skills were palpation of the fundi and estimation of the gestational week! The reason I am telling you this is because I want to convey that I started from almost zero. The only thing which got me going was my intense love towards internal med and some of the knowledge which was still remaining at the back of my mind.
So do not fear, you will definitely be able to go through your master programme, provided you work hard for it.