|North-West trainees get set for MRCS Part B|
|Friday, 01 March 2013|
The Edinburgh MRCS Mock OSCE and Preparation Course at The Christie, Manchester
A preparation course for the MRCS OSCE examination conducted through the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was held at The Christie in Manchester in September 2012, fulfilling a hitherto long-felt need by trainees in the North-West of England.
The two-day programme, organised jointly by The Christie School of Oncology, RCSEd and the Doctors Academy, focused on providing attendees with a taster of the MRCS Part B Examination environment, with Mock OSCE/viva practise stations and discussions on common examination pitfalls.
One of the course’s conveners, Mr Zahid Raza said: “The Edinburgh MRCS Preparation Course has been running for over two years. The aim was to give candidates a more realistic exposure to the OSCE format of the examination.
“In Edinburgh, the course runs three times per annum to coincide with the three diets of the examination. Other centres have opened to this course, adapting it for their local needs, such as in Manchester. Recently, the Edinburgh College rolled out the course to India, with much success. The feedback from candidates has been extremely positive and changes to the course structure are always made after considering the views of past candidates.”
The Manchester course’s highlight was the Mock OSCE examination, simulating the standard stations included in the MRCS Part B. Lectures were kept to a minimum with the aim to get the 20 delegates to participate in improving their clinical and procedural skills. In groups of four, candidates rotated around the stations, allowing ample practise opportunity.
Day-one included OSCE stations in anatomy, surgical pathology and communication skills, while day-two included stations in clinical and procedural skills, applied surgery and critical care. Clinical examination stations involved one-to-one contact with real patients, while professional actors were available for some of the communication skills stations. Each OSCE or viva was conducted in the manner of the formal examination followed by a 10-minute discussion and feedback session with the examiners. At the end of each day, Mr Pradip Datta moderated a rapid-fire interactive viva discussion, putting candidates ‘on the spot’.
The rest of the Faculty included Professor David Sinclair, Miss Sarah O’Dwyer, Mr AU Khan, Mr M Paraoan, and Mr Tunde Campbell as well as the Regional Surgical Advisers for the North-West and Merseyside regions.
Feedback was extremely encouraging; one participant commented: “This was a very useful course for people starting their revision and approaching the exam soon. It was interactive, friendly, with excellent content – I would recommend it.”
All agreed that the course had helped them gain a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses related to the skills and knowledge required for the MRCS OSCE examination. Most of the short presentations, as well as the OSCE stations, were well received, with 94% of participants rating the course as good or excellent.
With the success of this inaugural course in Manchester, it is envisaged that this will become a regular feature of the events calendar of the College with the next course planned at The Christie for 20-21 April 2013.