MRCP PACES experience: Station 4(Communication station)
For clearing PACES, I had to sit twice. First time I failed only because I didn’t do well in station 4. So I had to learn communication the hard way. Although I’m still no expert but I hope sharing my approach to prepare for St 4 will help you. So today I’d like to cover some points on how to prepare for this station.
1. Which books to read?
Mir Ryder & Tim Hall are must.
Those who are planning to sit from UK centers, please read Tim hall. Try to learn the key sentences mentioned in the scenarios & medicolegal terms. Use those sentences while practicing.
Websites: patient.co.uk, gov.uk for assessment of driving fitness
For practice: Scenarios from Paces website, Iqbal, Last second MRCP Paces.
2. What videos to watch?
Pastest & paces4u videos are helpful but try not to follow these videos by heart as some info are wrong and outdated.
3. How to practice?
Of course you can practice with your study partners but you could practice in front of mirror which I myself did a lot.
There are several WhatsApp & zoom groups.Tag your self there & listen how they approach different scenarios. Then form your own approach. There’s no option but to keep practicing.
4. What to remember on exam day?
If you go through the books & videos, you can easily find out that there is a specific pattern. Always try to follow that step by step, e.g from introduction to conclusion.
Exam days are nerve-racking & panic sets in. But if you touch all the points & agendas from the scenario, it can never get wrong.
# Be patient. Keep calm & listen to everything patient/ surrogate has to say. Never ever interrupt. You may know a lot but don’t overburden patients / surrogates with information. Just let them know what the scenario requires.
If you don’t know specific information on anything, you can always admit. Examiners expect you not to know everything.
# Never use medical terms/ jargon. No matter how many times you hear this, during exam it can easily be forgotten.
Remembering these few points helped me a lot during my exam.
1st time I got 6/16 whereas 2nd time I got 16/16, only because I followed a systematic approach.
If this post is helpful, I’d like to share my exam experience in station 4 & other stations as well.
Good luck to all PACES candidates.
Dr. Abeeda Tasnim Reza MBBS(DMC), MRCP(UK)