The worst excuse I have heard from candidates and continue to hear from time to time is:
‘I don’t have time.’
‘There’s no time.’
And I always say, ‘Don’t give me this excuse. Instead, say that you don’t know how to use your time or organize your time.’
Everyone in this world is given 24 hours a day. There is no exception to this regardless it’s the president of a super power or a janitor from a third world country, an old person or a child, a doctor or a patient.
All those who have passed MRCOG are not aliens from Mars with some supernatural powers. They all are just like you: they have had 24 hours a day, they have had families, tough jobs, financial restrains, and everything else that you face right now in your life. 98% of people pass the exam in the midst of all this. There are hardly a 2% of those who can leave everything else, sit at their homes and just study 24×7 for 6 long months.
Ok, we settle the issue of time and the next excuse comes: ‘MRCOG is a very difficult exam.’ What is difficult? Difficult is only what you don’t know. When you start understanding things then it’s no more difficult but the appropriate word is challenging. Indeed it is one of the most challenging exams but definitely achievable as there are thousands of MRCOG holders around the globe.
If you have decided to sit for MRCOG exam, please, please… STOP complaining about the hurdles of your way. Take my words on this, the ONLY hurdle in your way to get through this exam is NOT understanding the requirements of RCOG, not understanding the standards against which you are tested.
With my experience I have noticed that candidates pass through different stages before they are ready to take the challenge of MRCOG. When people ask me about how to study and prepare, it’s so easy to spot out those who have gone past the stages of being unsure, frustrated and have stopped moaning about how things are not working for them; instead they are ready to take the stride with full acceptance and responsibility.
Here are some salient features if you want to see whether you are ready to take this challenge or not: –
Are you ready to put your ego aside and accept that your focus of study is not meeting the standards of RCOG? (Teaching adults is very challenging because outside MRCOG exam you are an individual with high education profile, clinical skills and social status. Ego strikes too hard in some cases)
– If yes to Q1: Are you ready to take criticism? (This indeed is the hardest part for you and for me. This can be very frustrating for an adult to be told that the tone of their speech is not appropriate to break a bad news in an OSCE station, or you need to work on the composition of your sentences)
– If yes to critical appraisal: are you ready to bring the changes and adapt the new techniques and methods? (Not as easy as it sounds, old habits die hard. But keep in mind nothing will change unless you bring a change by yourself)
– Are you ready to work on spotting what you don’t know? (There is no doubt you carry a wealth of knowledge. It’s very easy to talk about what you know, but the whole difference lies in what you do not know and that’s what you need to spot out)
– Are you ready to go that extra mile which leads to your success? (And that extra mile is different for every person, it could mean devoting some more time, changing your job, arranging domestic help, spending on journal subscriptions or courses, getting a new gadget, literally anything depending on your individual circumstances.
If you pass this acid test, you are definitely ready to take this challenge. All you need now is motivation, determination and hard work because success is not an accident; you don’t just stumble and fall into success. Success is all about the choices you make while failure awaits for chances to appear.