In a little bit, I’m heading off to North Lanarkshire for my first OSCE.
I’m not nearly as nervous about this one as I was about the written papers (in spite of having sat perhaps a hundred written exams in my life and having never, ever sat an OSCE that counted for anything before today). I know what I’m doing, mostly, it’s just a question of remembering to do it in the right order, faking some sort of confidence, and keeping the shaking under enough control at least that I won’t drop my tendon hammer.
Oddly, I’m kind of looking forward to it. I’m not getting tested on how much scientific information I can fit into my head, I’m getting tested on how good I might be at actually being a doctor. This is the part that I love. The part where I get to see patients and talk and interact with them and maybe try to figure out a little bit of what might be wrong with them. It doesn’t matter that most of my patients today will have absolutely nothing at all wrong with them or that they’ll all be actors. This is what I live for.
Is it off-putting that there’s going to be an examiner there, waiting for me to forget to check for malar flush? Little bit. Or that I will at some point (more likely tomorrow, I think) have to get consent from a plastic bottom rather than a real live person? Yeah. But I can live with those things.
Tendon hammer. Check.
ID badge. Check.
A hundred warnings to not forget the temperomandibular joint or tracheal deviation. Check.
I’ll see you on the other side!