November 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm UTC #10212
I learnt a valuable lesson while preparing for the OSCE- I realized that after the written, (in which I have not prepared it as for OSCE format), I was just struggling to revise again everything in bits and pieces and trying to piece everything together for the OSCE was a mess and a headache!
Therefore if I were to do everything again I would say start preparing as if one is preparing for the OSCE, for example if Obstetric patient with hypertension, do the notes starting with
introduction line: (I call it the punch line) ie when answering structured OSCE for hypertension : start by saying something like ‘In the latest MMBRACE maternal mortality secondary to hypertensive disease had been at its lowest since 1950s, and it is no. 8 overall now….’ ( this gives a different ‘feel’ to the examiner and makes him/her sits up with attention at what you are going to say next; instead of just answering the questions directly as listening to so many candidates he must be getting bored with just simple answers)
Then next prepare management issues in pre pregnancy, antenatal (break down into trimesters), intrapartum and post partum issues. That way by the end of preparing one topic you would have covered everything. Include issues of audit, clinical governance, risk management if applicable into every topic as these are vital in OSCE stations.
I realized after preparing for the third time, my notes are VERY important as when I revise a guideline, I only need to go back to my notes as I have already summarised a whole guideline into one page for instance. Only referring to guideline for the fine prints if needed. This makes revision faster and more efficient.
It is recommended that we read the last 3 years of TOG and 2 years of OGRM articles. This is already a lot on top of all the GTG/scientific papers etc and NICE guidelines. What I tend to do is study around each topic the related TOG and OGRM where applicable. Tables and charts I mark them for fast reference.
About 6 weeks before the written exam, stop researching and start doing all the questions you can get your hands on. When encountering a question and unsure, go back and read again if needed. I had a study group for my second attempt at written however I think the group was too big and therefore it wasnt effective therefore I ended up studying by myself and asking around my consultants and other colleagues who are attempting the exam for opinion if needed. But for the OSCE it is VITAL to have a small group of 3 to practice practice and practice! One for candidate, one for role player, one for examiner.
SBAs are quite straight forward and factual, therefore have all the ‘numbers’ or percentage ready at hand for quick reference. I use cards for these. A week before the exam I start going through my cards to refresh my memory.
My archilles tendon was EMQ. I always get confused by the end of a long EMQ question. Therefore what I did was to bring a highlighter into the exam and highlight the pertinent information given in the question. That way the words jump out at me when I look through again and I can organise my mind as to what the question wants.
I still had some SAQ books from the first attempt, and the questions are actually very helpful in preparing for the exam as well as most of the questions ask for at least three parts of a topic, and it gives a backbone of what to read for the topic.
MRCOG is no doubt, the toughest exam I have taken in my life so far, and there is no trick or short cuts to it. It is hard work, VERY hard work, committed heart, dedication, disciplined attitude and do not despair if you dont make it first attempt. Smart people gets by easier probably, but hardwork pays off too, definitely!
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