Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting close...

Apologies for the lack of updates - though really, there hasn't been a lot to say. Pretty much all I've been doing is studying. And I'm so BORED! The exams are on Thursday morning and Friday morning.

The study group continued until the week before last. It was good, but I think six people was too many - it should've been two groups of three people. As I mentioned in my last post, I found the sessions where we worked through past papers to be the most rewarding.

For the past couple of weeks, we've been doing our own thing. I haven't been going into the hospital as much - I've just been studying at home.

I think the best thing about this (forced) extra study time is that I now understand some concepts that I'd previously skimmed over due to lack of time, or interest, or both. I feel like I'm much more capable of working things out from first principles, instead of rote learning things without fully understanding them.

My colleagues and I had another lovely encounter with the Faculty recently. Here's the story (in probably a bit too much boring detail)...

When I first found out that I'd failed, I emailed the Assessment Unit and asked to view my paper. I was told that this could be done, but my clinical school had to request the paper from the Assessment Unit, and a rep from the clinical school would go through the paper with me as part of my remediation. So I asked the clinical school to arrange this. They refused, saying that the Assessment Unit person was incorrect and that no-one was allowed to see their paper. This was frustrating, but I didn't feel strongly enough about it to fight (figured I had bigger things to worry about), and left it at that.

A few weeks later, we found out that students from another clinical school had viewed their papers. We asked our clinical school again, and again they refused. So I emailed the Assessment Unit, and asked whether we could view our papers without going through the clinical school. Again I was refused - and also annoyed, because the Assessment Unit person CC'd the sub-dean from my clinical school when she replied to my email. "Great," I thought. "Now I'm pegged as a troublemaker."

Then we heard that students from two other clinical schools had also viewed their papers. One of my colleagues contacted our sub-dean, who contacted his counterpart at another clinical school, who confirmed that students there had viewed their papers. So our sub-dean finally gave in and set up a meeting for us with the head of the Assessment Unit (who also happens to be a doctor at our clinical school).

The meeting was at 8am, and it was a colossal waste of time. Of course, we didn't get to view our papers. The head of the Assessment Unit explained all the reasons for this - new pool of questions, don't want the questions to be leaked to other students, the other clinical schools broke the rules, etc. Our main concern was that we would be disadvantaged if any questions from the previous exam were repeated on our re-sit. He assured us that there would be no repeat questions - in fact, he assured us of this so vehemently that I thought he'd say, "Cross my heart and hope to die"!

Apart from that, he told us how we should be studying for the exam - that we should be seeing patients on the wards and setting up a study group. Valid points, yes, but not 2 weeks before the bloody exam! The only piece of new information we got from the meeting was that the re-sit would be easier than the Barrier. He said that the ridiculously hard questions (my words) that were in the Barrier were only there for curiosity's sake - to separate the best of the best. In our re-sit, those questions are pointless.

So I've got 3 days left to study, and I've still got a lot to cover. I'm feeling slightly nervous, but remain confident that I can do it. I can't wait until 11am on Friday!

Thanks again to everyone who commented on my other posts - your support is wonderful!


Anonymous said...

HOW RIDICULOUS. I'm impressed at your restraint. The head of assessment ought to be shot. Revolting and so unfair.
None of this helps you ofcourse, so I will just say all the best for your exam and hope the sailing ahead is smooth for you.

Polly said...

Best of luck KT. Sorry you had to deal with such a bunch of idiots! :(

Miss-G- said...

That's ridiculous, I don't think it's fair and I don't think they should get away with it. I can bring it up at the Medsoc meeting if you like or with the council in general. They're really good at stirring the faculty up!

Hope you get some past questions from those people who actually DID get to view their papers.

Dragonfly said...

Good luck. University bureaucracy = crap.

Anonymous said...

Unis. Bah.
Good on you for not kicking him in the k-nuts.
Lots and lots of chookas from here!

Liz said...

Omg.. it never ceases to amaze me to see the inequalities between various clinical schools. It's totally ridiculous. I understand that they can't standardize everything, but some things, such as RULES should be standardized. If some students get to view their paper, all should!!! If some students have to repeat ICAs in addition to studying, all should. It's totally crazy.

Good luck to you in the last few days of preparation. YOU CAN DO IT!

Anonymous said...

The very best of luck!!!!

In terms of faculty, and the assessment unit, I wish I could share some of my experiences from the last few least, then you would feel like you weren't the only one :)

A 2nd year med student...

*C said...

Good luck tomorrow KT!

Don't let the man get you down.

Su said...

Good luck in your exam!

BTW that's terrible that your faculty was so hopeless in regards to whether you could view your papers or not! If it makes you feel any better, I think my med school's not any better with sorting out rules like that either..

chinaski said...

Best of luck (better late than never)!