AMC: Clinical Exam – Part 2

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

  1. AMC Clinical Handbook
  2. Karen’s notes
  3. Past year questions
  4. Talley O’Connor book (mine was an ebook)
  5. Murtagh General Practice
  6. Facebook Page: AMC Clinical
  7. Youtube videos – geeky medics
  8. 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

Management/counselling/education 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

Karen’s notes

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.

Talley O’Connor

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

Study Partner

Needed. Absolutely.

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

  1. Our English is not that great – even when we think it is
  2. Our accent is too thick la
  3. We speak too fast
  4. We give too much information and use jargon
  5. We don’t understand Australian idioms – “I feel crook this arvo, so I called the ambos” – actual Aussie quote
  6. 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.


Published by seblingcs

A Malaysian's journey Down Under

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