Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Done with the exams

Before I start writing about Riyadh, a beautiful city in most respects (except for the roads which are extremely confusing), let me fill you all in on the main purpose of my visit to Riyadh. On the afternoon of 14th May, 2014, I sat for the Part 2 papers of MRCPCH. These are two papers. The first paper was from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the  second from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Both the papers are based on different formats of multiple choices. About 10-12 questions (out of 60 total) in each paper are based on photographs of patients or their reports such as X-rays, ECGs, etc.

The venue was a small hall on the ground floor of the College of Medicine next to King Khalid University Hospital located inside the King Saud University campus. There were about 35-40 students in all, of whom just a few of us were Indians, a handful were Pakistanis and the rest were a mix of Arabs of all hues, especially Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese.

Interestingly, while the Jeddah unit in Part 1 had arranged for tea, coffee and a snack, as also bottles of water, here, they did not serve anything except water poured out into plastic glasses from large bottles. The "invigilators", 4 in number, seemed to be from different nationalities. I think one was an Egyptian, one a Saudi, and there was this Indian female with a bindi and all. The exam-goers, i.e. us, bonded a bit in the later part of the afternoon as we waited in between the two papers. I had carried a few books, but never got either the time or the inclination to do any last-minute studies. 

All in all, the papers were tough, as they are based on clinical scenarios, images, and interpretations thereof. When we got down to discussing some of the questions, we discovered, to our collective horrors, that we had sometimes ALL chosen DIFFERENT ANSWERS! Hence, clarity of the result cannot be a foregone conclusion. And on this hope, we will all continue to hope against hope and pray that we pass the exams.

That's it, I guess. If I do pass these exams (I shall know by end of June), I will then start planning for the last part of the exams, viz. MRCPCH Clinical.

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