My Pediatrics Round Exam: ‘Roundup’   2 comments

Today was my pediatrics round exam.

Official papers said we should be at the pediatrics hospital by 9 am.
And I was there by 9 am.
Examinations did not start until 10:30 am.
I, and my friends of the same section, did not take the exam until 1:30 pm. That’s 4.5 hours away from 9 am. No need to mention – because it’s expected – that we had been standing; no chairs to sit on. By the time I entered the exam room, I was really tired and sweaty all over. I had lots of mental blocks, and I missed some really easy questions which I’m sure would’ve got them right if it wasn’t for that long wait. But overall, I did well.

Now to the cases. There were 5 live cases and 5 written questions.

Among the live cases were sleeping ones. A young boy who was to be checked for central cyanosis was sleeping, and it was difficult to check his lips. I wanted to check his tongue which would’ve been more accurate, but it was impossible to do so as you see.

The other case asked if there was jaundice in a young girl with earrings (in which the case report mentioned it was a boy!), but unfortunately she was sleeping as well. It was impossible to lift up her eyelids to check out her sclerae. So, I just went by the skin complexion which showed no jaundice.

Other funny cases included a Down syndrome case where the mother knew the head circumference of her child, and so kept on telling every student the answer to make the whole process faster. The other had a 16-year-old boy (who looked much younger) who kept saying aloud “I have pitting edema” . Another one had the ends of the imaginary liver span marked with a pen on the child’s skin (I think one of the students made it), so you didn’t need to get the upper border by percussion and the lower by palpation.

Some guys received phone calls from students who had just finished the exam with all the answers. I can’t emphasize on that enough, but that was the most exciting news that day to most of the students.

All in all it was a not-very-funny big joke. A joke which convinced me more and more that we’re just playing doctors.


Posted August 30, 2008 by H. H. in Corruption, Egypt, Medicine, My Life

2 responses to “My Pediatrics Round Exam: ‘Roundup’

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  1. From what I heard from my seniors similar things happen over here as well. Something that ALWAYS happens here that you did not mention is paying the patients. Over here during class students pay every patients a couple of pounds. During exams they pay them like 10s of pounds. And if some students need some extra “services” from the patients they pay them more, about 50 pounds. To tell them the diagnosis, special unclear symptoms, their grades (after the doctor checks their papers), and so on. Hands down, it sucks.

  2. I’m aware of that. But that’s usually the case in the final clinical exams where you stay with the patient for a relatively longer period of time. But in a typical round exam it’s uncommon because you barely have time to quickly examine and write down the answers. You stay at each case for only one minute, then the instructor yells, “Change!”.

    Sure it sucks but we have to live with it until we graduate, I guess.

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