First day of exams yesterday really didn’t go too well. It was one of my Pediatrics exams where we had to interview actors that were hired to play worried parents. There were four stations and the only station that went well for me (or at least i felt confident about) was the surgical one. Everything else was a shock. I had two consultants who i had worked with before, invigilating two of my stations – one was the surgeon, the other was a neonatologist, who also happened to be one of my referees for my intern application. I was so embarrassed during that station that i did not dare look at my consultant. The examined topic was so left-wing that i was caught off guard.
Basically i had to explain to a ‘parent’ the rehydration management of her infant who has been diagnosed with mild gastroenteritis and whom the consultant has deemed fit to discharge home. I had NINE minutes to talk about oral feeds, monitoring further complications, if she was able to cope with her child at home if we were to discharge her, follow up with her general practioner in a few days, informing childcare, precautions with her other child and if she wanted a pamplet. All of which i covered in THREE minutes. The remaining six minutes were spent reiterating myself and constantly harrassing the patient with “Do you have any questions for me?”, “Do you have any questions for me?”, “ARE YOU SURE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR ME???” Jeez, normally, the actors will try to help us out if we miss something, but this one was like a complete stone wall. Holy shit. I discussed with my friends and we all came to the conclusion that this was a mad station, and they probably have to audit our results since we are all probably going to perform really badly.
The other two stations were as bad. I completely panicked when i was given a urine dipstick to interpret. I have done dipsticks before, but this one was slightly different, and i panicked and completely did not know how to read it. The problem with my examiner was that he just left me to die (and so with the other students in my particular group). However, in other groups, the doctors actually helped the students align the dipstick, or corrected them if they saw the students were struggling. This bloody discrepancy pisses me off, because if i can’t interpret the dipstick, then clearly i will lose marks on the subsequent questions. This is another reason why i detest the institution i am in. Their methods of examining students’ competence differ widely and in their attempt to prevent all of us from doing well, they come out with ridiculous questions that stump us and outsmart themselves making them look like complete klutzes. In that station, there was also an error in the result, which they altered for the afternoon group of students. Unfortunately, i am not sure how they can adjust our scores, since for a lot of students faltered for the subsequent questions when they got confused by the MSU results. Ridiculous.
The last station was just…i don’t know. I did read up on that topic and i did regurgitate everything i read up on. The invigilator was very nice, constantly prompting me, trying to help me get marks. Unfortunately i just could not help myself because i never read about the stuff that she wanted me to state. However, the other students seem to know the answer and so i got a bit irritated with just Life in general i suppose. Whatever information she wanted was not in the particular text that i was reading. I am not sure what to say. Anyway…just disappointed as usual with the way things turn out despite the amount of effort. This is the recurring theme of the last six years in medical school. No feedback on your performance as long as you pass. They (the examiners) were pretty explicit when we asked about them going through our examination performances, just you know, to find out where we went wrong so we would not repeat it. But as long as you passed, they ain’t going through to that effort. Their response is that we are all too used to being the top students from our respective high schools, but now that we are in medical school, it is different, and we just have to get use to being average. Fine, whatever. Because i do know that in other institutions, the medical education isn’t like this. Major pangs of regret, but what the fuck. I hope i can get this over with by the end of this year.
Anyhow, the bruise around my eye is getting really discoloured. It actually swelled up during my examination, probably due to stress.