AMC Clinical Part 2
Let’s get started.
It’s best to sit for the clinical exams immediately after your MCQ. Your knowledge would still be fresh.
The best way to prepare for this exam is to have your resources
In my experience I used
- AMC Clinical Handbook
- Karen’s notes
- Past year questions
- Talley O’Connor book (mine was an ebook)
- Murtagh General Practice
- Facebook Page: AMC Clinical
- Youtube videos – geeky medics
- Good study partner(s)
This list is not by any means exhaustible. Some went for courses. I do not have experience in them because I never signed up for them. There are many around and I suggest you read the reviews before deciding on signing up for it. It does cost a lot of money.
AMC Clinical handbook
Price AUD 275
Definitely a must. You need to finish this book cover to cover. It is not just reading it, you need to practice the questions with a partner.
At least 1-2 of these questions will come out in the exam.
Now the tasks asked of you during this exam would be:
History taking station
Physical examination station
Diagnostic formulation station
Sometimes they will combine the tasks.
i.e. take history and counsel the patient
An example of a question is as below
Candidate Information and Tasks
You are working in a GP. Your next patient is a 26 year old woman who has been sent to see you because she had positive hep C when she attended a blood donation drive. She was advised to see the doctor regarding this result. The other bloods for hep B and HIV was negative.
Your tasks are
- Take a relevant history
- Advise about subsequent management
*taken from AMC clinical handbook
The candidate only sees this.
The role player has her own script – on the answer index
The examiner will have their own checklist and mark you accordingly
This is an excellent resource for you to use. Remember to be economic in your words. Do not use jargon. Always reassure the patient. Never be a hero. Always seek help. If you don’t know – refer the patient to someone who knows. Do not miss life-threatening conditions.
Time yourself with each station. Even if you are given 10 minutes for each station, 2 minutes is for reading. 8 minutes is not 8 minutes. You have to appear friendly, calm and be ready to build a rapport with the patient. – this takes 1 minute or so. You need to complete your tasks before the bell rings.
So when you are practicing, give yourself 7 minutes instead of 8. Trust me you’d be surprised to see how time flies
A must in my opinion
Who is Karen?
I don’t know
All I know is that she took the time to write down all the important topics that can be asked in an exam with the answers.
You can get Karen’s notes by joining the AMC Clinical group page
Or if you rajin you Google to cari it.
Karen’s notes is written in a dialogue form
As in as if you are speaking to the patient
This is very important as she uses layman terms. You can learn how to speak to Australian patients this way. Australian patients (all patients actually) need a lot of reassurance. Do not scold them, do not talk down to them. Do not scare them. At the same time do not give false hope.
Difficult right? That’s why you need to practice.
You can use Karen’s notes as a guide to see where you are weak at.
It is written sometime in 2014-2015. So, some of the info can be outdated. Cross reference it with John Murtagh.
Past Year Questions (Recalls)
You can find them on the facebook group page.
A recall is when a candidate has sat for the test, remembered the questions asked and how they answered it. Usually they would have their results on whether they passed or not before writing the recall. So you’d know which station they failed or passed in.
How important is this? Very important
Good recalls is the difference between a pass and a fail
There is only so much they can test you on
AMC will recycle the questions so don’t be surprised if you see 5-7 same ones come up again.
Find a recall of someone who passed every station (or just plain pass the exam la) and read how they answered the questions.
Remember during time of stress, they might remember things wrongly. So don’t bulat-bulat memorise their answers.
Take it with a pinch of salt
But what they may lack in quality they make up for it in sheer quantity of questions.
They can be years’ worth of recall.
To save time, my advice is to do at least 6 months’ worth of recall. If you have more time do more but 6 months is adequate.
This is an Australian Clinical Exam text book – mine I got from ebook
Best to read through it to brush up your physical exam/history taking skills
By now you should be competent in taking history and performing a good PE
But do not take this for granted
Practice them till you can recall it in your sleep
This will help you when you start working as a doctor here
Murtagh General Practice
Use this to cross reference stuff. Do not waste time going through the whole book again. Be selective of what you want to read
Facebook Group Page: AMC Clinical
You need to be invited to join this group
Obey their rules
You will find all sorts of important resources here
You can also find people who will be your study buddy
Use our modern gadgets to your advantage
Skype with them to practice the “talking stations” (of course cannot do PE over Skype la)
If I knew about this page earlier I may have passed the exam the 1st time round rather than having to go through the retest
Geeky Medics – Youtube
Made by a bunch of UK students
Very grateful for them
Learn how they examine the patient
Especially how they talk to the patient
If you feel sien reading stuff, instead of watching youtube videos of cats, watch Geeky Medics
Other stuff of youtube – look for how to do mental health interview for schizophrenic, depression, bipolar, anxiety patients – bread and butter for psych – very good resource available
You partner must be dedicated
Time is very important
No use having your kaki that is not serious and waste time
Practice all the questions with each other
Even being a role player/examiner you can learn things
Focus on passing the exam together
I had wonderful study partners. All of us promised to help each other pass. My wife helped enormously as well by being role player.
Remember though, we are human. Sometimes the study partner needs a rest. Even if you are ready to go, be considerate to your buddy. Belanja makan la after practice. It is good for your mental health as well
Finally before we end this entry:
This exam is not just about knowledge. You need to be able to communicate well.
As Malaysians, these are a few issues we have when consulting a patient with an English speaking background
- Our English is not that great – even when we think it is
- Our accent is too thick la
- We speak too fast
- We give too much information and use jargon
- We don’t understand Australian idioms – “I feel crook this arvo, so I called the ambos” – actual Aussie quote
- What is accepted in Malaysia is not accepted in Australia and vice-versa
So my advice for you is this. Record yourself speaking then play it back. You will be surprised how different you sound. Listen to how good English speakers talk. Enunciate the works properly. Take your time in pronouncing each word. This is not an English test, but if they cannot understand you, you will not get the marks. Learn some of the Aussie idioms. Get use to their accents – you will be hearing it for years. You don’t have to sound like Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin but it will help you understand your patients better.