Thursday, September 30, 2010

Expecto Patronisum

No.  No no no no no.

We had a practise OSCE this evening.  Oh how we laughed.  Eight stations, five minutes each.  All pretty straightforward stuff.  Or it would be, if you had any freaking idea what you were doing. 
Case in point: x-rays.  Now I know all about x-rays.  But clearly I don't know much about anatomy or pathology because I tanked that station.  Really badly.  But hey - that's why we have radiologists, right?  I mean, apart from having to find somewhere to put all the oddball graduates.

Anyway, that's not what this blob is about.  This blob is about the post-OCSE feedback session in which we were ruthlessly patronized by our supervising doctors who marked us.  Here's what went down...

First, we were subjected to a lengthy mealy-mouthed pep talk which actually contained nothing of substance whatsoever.  "The best advice for the OSCEs is to go into each station and genuinely try to address the clinical problem that is given to you."  Swerving that violently to avoid colliding with actual content left me reeling with mental whiplash and in no state for what was to follow.

We were then given a little finger wagging lecture about how if we are ever in the position of not knowing something we should always ask for a little lesson on it right then and there to "close the gap" rather than just shrugging and saying, "Meh, I can haz brains L8R", presumably because we are all adolescent dipshits rather than responsible adults.  At this point I bit my tongue and refrained from pointing out that, in my experience, asking questions of doctors leads to one of two possible answers:
  1. You should know this by now.
  2. It's not my job to answer questions that you can look up in a textbook.
Then, we were told in feedback for one of the stations that it was disappointing that so few of us knew the dose for drug X.  There were two marks available for knowing the drug and the dose but if you didn't know the dose you got zero.  Right. 

We did point out that we've been specifically told that we don't need to know the doses of drugs, to which the response was the evergreen and fanciful idea that we can get some kind of mythical "bonus marks" for impressing the examiner with knowledge like drug doses (as opposed to the cruel reality of disappointing your examiners by being unable to distinguish the bum from the elbow).  Buddy, the day I start spending my time planning ways to "impress" my examiners is the day I'm not devoting enough time to my stamp collecting.

Seizing the opportunity presented by our collective stunned silence in response to the feedback about the dose of drug X, I asked a question.  "Oh wise practitioners", I asked, "To enable me to close the gap and to ensure that I learn something from this encounter, couldst thou in thy wisdome inform me of the correct dose for drug X?" 

There was widespread hilarity.  My Esteemed Colleagues laughed because they know me well and recognized that I was being at least somewhat of a Smart-Arse.  The doctors laughed because I should know this by now and they are not here to answer questions that I could look up in a book.  I kid you not - the doctor next to me said, "You'll remember it better if you look that up yourself when you get home".  And then another doctor said, "The correct dose is one ampoule", and chuckled to himself behind his little doctor's beard.

I love it.


Anonymous said...

Was there a surgical station? Maybe this is message?

PS Great question - well asked!

PTR said...

Not sure which one was considered the surgical station. There was one on breaking bad news to a patient's relative. It's something that I'm amazingly good at, apparently, which doesn't necessarily fill me with confidence regarding my future career.

Anonymous said...

Can you teach me how to break bad news? I'm pretty crap at it. I spent most of the years prior to this working with math and programming folks. A land where harsh, abrupt, tackless communication is the norm.

PTR said...

Harsh, abrupt, tactless - you'll fit in just fine with doctors.

As for pretending to be nice during the OSCE, just speak softly and bat your eyelashes.

Anonymous said...

I offer everyone a hug.
Unless they're indigenous when even looking at them is culturally inappropriate. Even if they seem engaged, under no circumstances should you approach within 3 meters.

PTR said...

I'd like you to stay three metres away from me too please. It's not a cultural issue - you just sound pretty creepy.