Sunday, November 26, 2006

After Exams (Part 2)

...continued from here.

Note: This is merely a record for the uninspiring albeit memory-stimulating exams I had. If you have the least of interest in my studies, perhaps you shall stop at this point for the time being, and consider some other blogs, news or online articles. :) My blogroll and linkroll on the left might interest you.

14 November 2006 - OSCE
OSCE, or Objective Structured Clinical Examination, is a challenge every medical student has to go through before becoming a doctor. In most of our semesters, we have an OSCE exam where we demonstrate the real clinical skills such as interviewing and examining patients. In most situations, OSCE is done in a simulated environment, or in other words, there is an actor / actress in place of a real patient. OSCE is an exam everyone loves and hates - it doesn't constitute a lot of marks; but it's rather hard at times, and the physical examination component is a hurdle. Which is rather scary, especially with the rumour that a lot of our seniors failed the physical examination last year.

So a few of us did some sorts of preparation in Xuan Ni's house on 13 December, and it turned out to armour me quite nicely in terms of confidence and familiarity with the procedures. Came the real exams, I tackled the physical examination component rather nicely. However, for the interview part, I got rather panicky as the patient didn't present in the way I kinda "expected" it to be. Therefore I didn't expect to score well in this component... Sigh. But anyway this OSCE score is part of the HP subject, so since I have already done so badly in the HP paper, there's not gonna be much difference in the grade.

What a way to console myself. :P

16 November 2006 - CSGD Practical Exam
As the name suggests, practical exam is an exam where we are tested about all the practical sessions throughout the semester (duh!). Yeah, the name sounds boring, and the questions probably are; but from an outsider's view it's not that boring. In fact, the practical exam is one of the fanciest exam you would ever see - we get to play "musical chair" while doing it.

Basically in this exams, there are questions regarding topics such as anatomy, radiology, histology, histopathology etc. Some of the questions require tools like microscopes, X-ray slide viewer, pictures of anatomical dissections etc. Since they don't have enough tools to keep everyone on their own seats, some brilliant minds in the faculty figured out a way to test us with a limited number of equipments. We play musical chair! Basically they divide us into many groups, and in each group there are twelve of us sitting around a long wooden table. In front of everyone, there will be a set of four questions. Within the long table, everyone will have different set of questions, e.g. I get to do question 1 to 4, Ka Lip might deal with question 13 to 16, and so on. In some of the seats there will be a microscope or an X-ray viewer. In each station we will have five minutes to answer four questions. After five minutes, a deafening bell will ring, and everyone moves to the next seat on their right. The cycle repeats until everyone gets to answer every question.

Interesting, isn't it? No, absolutely not, especially when I saw three microscopes in each long table when I walked into the exam room. It's not interesting at all - that means there will be twelve (3 x 4) questions which require an interpretation of microscopic slides, and heck I have no idea most of the time. The last time there was only a station with a microscope, and I got all four questions wrong. Hah!

So off to the musical chairs. It turned out to be harder than I imagined. Having to inspect four microscopic slides under the microscope, and trying to figure out what they are / what they mean within five minutes, is definitely not my idea of a favourite exam. Even the non-microscope questions turned out to be evils. I think I struggled to get even two thirds of the questions right.

At the end of the practical exam I managed to squeeze a tinge of smile. It's not only because it's the end of the last paper, it's also the realization that struck me, about how much harder I need to work next time.

I have always thought what I did was sufficient - read as much as I could in my free time, which is normally less than an hour everyday after deducting all my other commitments and addictions in my life. I seldom, if at all do personal note-taking because I thought reading and absorbing is much more time-efficient than jotting down points and synthesizing mind maps.

Man I was wrong.

In exam hall it dawned upon me how much I didn't master the concepts, and how little the details I managed to retain with the two-week cramming. I should do better next semester - generate my own notes, study more consistently and spend time more efficiently without wasting too much time in addictive websites like Digg. How I wish I have the will to keep me going. Let's remind me when I spend too time blogging next time, okay? :)

Update 02/12/06: The result has just come out. I am satisfied with it. In fact, I am quite surprised by my luck, as I expected much lower than what I got. Thanks to my family and friends for their support, especially miss "anonymous" for being my booster all the time. :)

In the next post...

What do you think about these comments:

the Mandarin-speaking Chinese in Malaysia are not that civic conscious to see the bigger picture. They are small-picture voters, more concerned about keeping the culture of lion dances instead of the longer term socio economic interest of the Malaysian Chinese community.
Chinese including Malaysian Chinese especially has that bad habit of ethno-egoism in which they feel superior than others just because they are able to master more than 1,000 chinese characters. Yet the information revolution came to the planet from the 26 alphabets of the English language.

To the Chinese, everybody is a Kwei or Kui except the Chinese, and China is the only Middle Kingdom of human beings between the other Kingdoms of Hell and Heaven.

... From an English-educated Chinese
Update: Continued in this post.


Cheok Quen said...

While I do believe that the person who made that comment is over-generalising, there still is truth to it. I have quite oftenly been labelled as "less Chinese" because I do not listen to Mando/Canto-pop (which I personally feel are tacky and watered down versions of American pop in a language I do not understand, with exceptions - different people have different tastes). Unfortunately these extreme people are more numerous than you think.

Even here in Sydney, sometimes I get sidelined when ordering Chinese food in English (I feel that I sound weird speaking in Malaysian Canto to people from Hongkong), and you are made to feel like you are of an inferior breed or something.

Ethno-egotism obviously exists in many places in the world, but I do feel that the yellow-skinned (the Japanese and Chinese) are very hyper in this aspect.

Without putting the Chinese down, why should it matter that I can't speak the language? As much as it would have been nice if I were able to read/write/converse in Chinese (or any language for the matter), but am I less adequate of a person for not having that ability?

youngyew said...

I agree that there is some truth to it, that there is sadly this mutual disparagement between English-ed and Chinese-ed among Malaysian Chinese, or even among Chinese around the world. It saddens me to read such comments again and again, and apparently this is the reason people just can't unite and understand each other - all because of our sense of superiority, a need to raise our own status over the others to feel better.

I will be writing about it in coming days, but for the time being if you are interested in the context in which these comments came about, check out the original post: Link. Look under the comments, search for Frank&Honest's comments, and some of my replies (with the name youngyew).

hL said...

Nothing much to comment on your exams, but I've got a little bit to say on the final two comments:

Comment 1:
I do not deny that the existence of such individuals, BUT when you sit down, ask them to think about it, I'm sure they will change their mind. I feel that this is due to the individuals concerned not being exposed to what actually is going on. They may be naive, arrogant or simply ignorant. So, they will take make simple decisions, which will most probably revolve around self-interest. In short, this way of thinking is simply because they see things from only one side, and we just need to expose them to all sides of the story. With this, every sane individual, can, hopefully, decide wisely.

Comment 2:
It is good to be proud of our own roots and culture. There's nothing wrong with that. But, it is just wrong to discriminate, isolate, disrespect or look down upon one of the same race/culture just because he/she does not speak/write the language, etc. (like CQ mentioned). I personally feel that this does not shame that race/culture because it's a matter of personal choice AND opportunity because this doesn't mean that we despise our race/culture. I have to add on to what CQ has said about the scenario in some Sydney Chinese restaurants. There's something wrong with the concept in ethno-egotism in this case. They treat non-Chinese-speaking Chinese like shit, but the treat local Australians like their family members. I'm not saying that you shouldn't treat the locals well, but this simply shows that you are really not happy to see someone of your own race/culture. It's very different from the Japanese. The Japanese are definitely very proud of their own, BUT they treat others well. They respect individuals of other race/culture. We should seriously learn from them. In short, ethno-egotism is not absolutely wrong, but it has a limit. Pride - one of the seven deadly sins.

Anonymous said...

I await your next post with great anticipation!

And one more thing, your exams are over, so don't think too much, okay? Not good for (mental) health, haha!

Alvin Ooi said...

wheregot people do exam review one...gah

Ka Lip said...

Yay! My name got mentioned!


Max Lee said...

Stumble upon your blog while reading Alvin post. I agreed with my bro, you are weird, exam review after exam?? :P
Will comment on those stuffs you posted after I read them in context (most likely after my exam and holiday). Interesting comments by the way.