Budding medic Tahmeena Amin is on the verge of finishing her first year at Manchester’s medical school after completing her objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Here, she explains how nerve-racking she found the experience, but also why she believes it will stand her in good stead next time around…
I’ve just come out of the second half of my Year 1 OSCEs and to say that I’m relieved it’s over would be an understatement. My first OSCE experience has definitely been just that…an experience.
Here at Manchester, the OSCE is split into 2 days, 5 stations on one day and then a week later another set of 5 stations. My experience on both days were quite different!
My first set of 5 were awful. I remember coming out, ringing my mum and having a good old cry on the phone about how I’ve definitely failed and how I’m going to have to revise all summer long to resit, just to then fail the resit too. Thinking back at it now, I don’t think all the stations went awfully, but the ones that did go bad, went really bad, which at the time, made me view all 5 stations as having gone terribly.
It also didn’t help that I googled the answers to some of the questions after coming out of the OCSE and confirmed what I already knew – that I had got most of them wrong (when I say most, I’m mainly talking about the questions in one particular horrendous histology station, since you can’t really google the answers to the rest!)
Before the first 5 stations, I was so nervous…I remember I had to actually hold back the tears as I was walking to the anatomy station. I am naturally a bit of a worrier, and my nervousness doesn’t normally tend to manifest physically, but for some reason on that day, it did.
I told myself that after the first set of 5, I’d feel much more calm for the second set as I’d be more comfortable with the whole OCSE layout. This was true in a sense, but also the opposite – I was feeling slightly more relaxed because I knew what to expect and also because I just couldn’t wait to get it over and done with, but was also feeling more stressed out at the same time because I knew that, due to my performance in the last 5, I’d have to up my game in these stations.
The second set of five definitely went better than the first. I can’t really judge how well I’ve done as I didn’t think any of the stations went extremely awfully, nor extremely well. I also will NOT be googling the answers this time round…I’m not going to do that to myself again! I’m just SO relieved that this whole experience is over. I just hope that I’ve done enough to pass and can progress on to year 2!
Now all of my exams are over (except my portfolio review and poster presentation, but I’m to to worried about those). This year has definitely not been easy but I’m lucky to be studying something that I love. I cannot wait for summer to start!
To read more about Tahmeena’s life as a medical student visit her blog: Diary of an Aspiring Medic.