Here is the Lesson

After you read my previous post, you may ask, “What is lesson of failure? Did you fail to cure your patients?”

I didn’t mean that kind of failure. I’m still a student, not a doctor yet. What I meant with lesson of failure is simply failure on tests, like other students from any school by the way.

Here in medical school we have OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and written test. OSCE is an exam where student acts as a doctor and faces simulated patients.

I remember when I had my first OSCE. I thought it would be easy. I have to admit I didn’t practice a lot because I thought I had understood the concept and how to do it. Then I got the result… I failed on three of five exams. It was such a shame for me. I mean, 3 of 5! I failed more than I passed. I failed on medical record, basic physical examination, and communication. I didn’t even believe that I failed in communication. Let me explain, in communication exam I had to communicate with my patient and gain information from her condition. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, I wasn’t the only one who failed.

Lesson #1: never underestimate any subject.

I then had a remedial tests for the tests I failed. The result is, I passed medical record and basic physical examination but again, I failed on communication so that I have to take remedial test in my third term. What’s wrong with my communication? I later found out the cause in my second term.

In my first OSCE, after I asked the patient about her condition, I told her I would do an exam. I didn’t do actual exam anyway. I just said it. After that, I pretended to give medicine and told her to take the medicine three times in a day (just like usual medicine, right?).

In my second term, I got a lecture about communication again because we would have communication OSCE in second term, too. The lecturer talked about first-term communication OSCE. The objective of first-term communication OSCE is to build a good doctor-patient relationship. So, after we gain enough information, we should close it like, “Baik, saya rasa sudah cukup tanya-jawabnya. Terima kasih atas kerja samanya. Sekarang saya akan melakukan pemeriksaan. Apakah anda bersedia? – Okay, I think it’s enough. Thank you for your cooperation. Now, I’m going to do some examination. Do you agree?” Sorry, if my English word choice isn’t correct. I didn’t speak English in OSCE anyway so I don’t know how doctors say it in English. Back to the OSCE. So, you can see my fault, don’t you? I shouldn’t prescribe or give any medicine in first-term OSCE.

Lesson #2: pay attention to the learning objective, you have to understand why you study the lesson.

What about my written tests? Well, I will explain sometime.


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