It was the second day of my Mdcn mock exams… Mdcn exam is the Nigerian medical license exam which all foreign trained medical doctors are expected to write because the Nigerian medical council does not believe in the medical license we brought from our respective foreign countries. Clearly, I feel some type of way about the exam.
Someone I met in the hospital today, asked me how the exam was. I simply told her, “It was hard”. Trust me, in a few month’s time when she is writing hers, she’d appreciate my honesty… but the Mdcn exam is a story for another day. Today’s post is dedicated to the second day of my mock exam.
We went to the hospital around 8:30am because we were to have internal Medicine picture test and afterwards, practical examination. The picture test is where pictures are shown on the screen, of something which looks like a tooth decay and you are asked to identify it; and after answering it, you find out that it’s actually a metastatic cancer, and you either drive yourself crazy trying to figure out where you went wrong or you resign and accept your faith and failure because, it is what it is.
After the picture test, was time for the real thing- a practical exam which was supposed to assess our clinical skills, counseling and history taking. The first road block was my chest X-ray reading station. I was supposed to look at an X-ray and “describe what I see“, I saw nothing abnormal. I spent a full 4 minutes standing and looking at a perfectly normal chest X-ray and managed to point out a few normal findings.
I didn’t realize how badly I did in that station, until the person after me began by saying, “this is the X-ray of a female named xx”.. I knew then I was screwed. She went on describing all the normalities of the X-ray, which I thought was unnecessary, I mean, it’s a normal x-ray. When I saw the examiner who should have kept a neutral face, smiling, I knew I had failed that station already.
The next road block was my cardiac station. The examiner was an elderly man who didn’t speak, or nod, and was pretty much almost not there. I introduced myself and greeted him (because I can’t expect to pass my exam without greeting my Nigerian examiner). Feeling confident, I inspected the patient and went ahead to listen to the apex heart beat with my stethoscope. I placed my stethoscope on the place that the apex heart beat was supposed to be, I heard nothing. Thinking I didn’t turn on my stethoscope, I turned it and placed it again, still nothing. That was when It occurred to me, my stethoscope might have failed me.
Of all the moments for my stethoscope to stop working, it had to be during an exam. I glanced at the examiner, remembered it was a “no comment” station, that is, I didn’t have to report anything, I placed the stethoscope’s diaphragm on the other areas where I was supposed to listen to the heart beats and pretended I was listening to the heart’s lub-dub. I went to the extent of telling the man to sit up so I could listen to his lungs. I mean, when Life gives you a spoilt stethoscope, you pretend that it is in fact working.
I thought the exam could not get any worse until I came to a station that said “knee joint examination”. I smiled, because I knew I was screwed yet again. This was the one examination I didn’t bother learning because I just didn’t believe a knee joint examination could appear in the exam. I thought wrong. The examiner was a fair handsome young man, not tall, not short, with a jovial face. I inspected the knee of the patient and then, I just simply stood without going further. I had 4 minutes of staring at the examiner and patient. The examiner, to his credit, kept on urging me to try, I told him, “I don’t know it, I didn’t expect it to come out, I didn’t read it”. That 4 minutes of staring and smiling at their faces was a long 4 minutes quadrupled, I was glad when the time was up.
I thought it couldn’t get any worse than the internal medicine exam, and then Paediatrics exam came with its own travails.
Let me know in the comments section if you’d like to read more about my Mdcn exam experience and I’m sure I am not the only person with a bad exam experience. Let’s form a mini support group in the comments section below.
Lots of Love, laughter and Coffee