Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finals Part II

This Tuesday I had my final for my Medical Interviewing class (if you remember, that is the first class in the two-year Physican's Core course which teaches us how to actually be a good doctor). The test is called an OSCE. Wikipedia recently told me that this stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Yes, I just took this test on Tuesday, and I still had to look up what it stood for.

In Medical Interviewing, we learned how to ... wait for it ... interview a patient and take a history. There are a LOT of questions that you are supposed to ask a new patient (most of which I've never actually been asked at a doctor's appointment; usually you just fill it out on a form, butttt I guess it's sorta important that we at least know how to do it). Some of the topics of questions include taking a history of present illness, past medical history, family history, medications and allergies, current health behavior and risk factors, sexual history, and social history.

So the test. They have fake doctor's offices set up with one of those two-way mirrors and a hidden video camera (it probably wasn't very hidden, I just obviously didn't see it). Inside this fake exam room is an actor who is pretending to be a sick patient. You knock on the door, introduce yourself as a first year medical student, and ask all your questions. Then you ask if they have any questions for you or have anything to add, and then you say that you are going to talk to the attending physician who will be back to see them shortly. You do this three times in three fake rooms to three fake patients. And then they grade you.

You are not supposed to forget any questions. Luckily we were allowed to bring an index card with notes in with us... and guess what, I still forgot to ask a few questions. How? I really don't know, maybe nerves make me forget how to read. But rumor has it that if you have ever spoken to another human being in your life, you will pass. And in fact, I have spoken to many human beings throughout my life! So I'm not too worried. I was also in the first group to go (whatupppp backwards alphabetical order!) so I had the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday off while everyone else was still freaking out.

Level of Scariness: Terrifying. And I'm sort of a people person. Still terrifying.

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