The tale of two doctors.

Two weeks ago, one of the paediatric registrars asked if  we would be interested in taking part in the examination process for the doctors wanting to become paediatricians.

I said yes.

Ivy was the ‘patient’ for, what they call, the long case study.

An hour long interview where the doctor extracts as much information and then examines the client, so as to be able to make a management plan for her care, which he then has to go and feed back to the examiners.

The stress must have been mind blowing because you could almost palpate the fear in the air


it put a human face to the medical profession.

It was really interesting and I learnt alot.

Not about Ivy, because, really, I was feeding the diagnosis and everything to the almost paeds to try to make the exam as easy as possible.

What I learnt about was the process it takes these doctors to make the grade.

I was especially interested because, over the last couple of months, Immy has put forward the idea that she would like to go into medicine, specifially with children, which, in itself is interesting but that’s another post in itself.

They come from all over Australia, so they don’t ‘know’ any of the children in the exam.

The two doctors who examined Ivy were  nervous.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a grown man visibly shake.

Everything weighted on this final exam, which consisted of  two long cases and four short studies.

They either pass on the day

or they don’t.

Their second chance basically puts them back a whole year in their studies.

I can’t even begin to imagine that kind of pressure.

The closest I came to anything like that were my midwifery OSCES.


They both had very different approaches.

The first was not such a good historian but he was kind and listened well.

He was gentle with Ivy.

The second was excellent with taking notes but he had very little  interaction with Ivy or me and was quite abrupt and rough during the examination.

Ivy was a little bit scared of him, I think.

Especially when he almost ripped her PICC line out in his haste to do the check up.

I wonder which one will do better in the examiners eyes.


Our girl was as good as gold and spent her time drawing pictures for her paed.


Originally posted at Three Ring Circus.

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