Here they are, the mOSCEs (mock OSCEs) themselves. I got virtually no sleep last night, partly due to nerves and partly because of an ill-timed nap earlier on in the evening. Thankfully my session was not until the afternoon so I was able to sleep in a bit. Had some breakfast, did some final mental runthroughs and headed into uni.
So for those interested, an OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) is a means of assessing clinical skill performance, usually seen in health sciences. In our case, we could be asked to perform a selection of tasks, taken from the examinations we've been learning in clinical skills sessions over the last two blocks. You stand outside a room with some instructions on the door, enter it, complete the task in a set time limit, then receive feedback from your examiners. They will have a checklist of everything you should be able to do, for which you will receive marks, and they will then place you into a category: fail, borderline, satisfactory, good or excellent.
First things first, I made plenty of mistakes over the 5 stations - in only a couple of them did I actively feel like I'd done well. The task list was a mixture of physical examinations and history taking exercises. In a bizarre way I actually enjoyed it - while it was stressful and your mind races while you're in the room, it was a fantastic learning experience and a chance to try what we'd learned on a new (simulated) patient. The examiners were all extremely supportive but direct with their feedback, which felt highly optimal. In my case, consistent feedback was that I had good patient rapport and empathy and had a very structured approach - when practicing I rewrote the exam instructions into an order that made more sense to me, which I think helped with that.
In terms of things to do better next time, it essentially came down to missing out a question or two in one section of the history, or forgetting a tiny section of the physical examinations. Equally, in my first history I finished with time to spare, but failed to complete the second in time. It was a mixed bag, but the key thing is that I didn't feel incompetent at any stage - when I messed up it was due to nerves rather than academic knowledge, which is totally fine by me. This was echoed by virtually all of my coursemates too, which is a really nice sign. We've worked hard to cover so much material so quickly, and haven't been ground down completely.
Busy evening - Coffee Architects first, for cake and a drink (second time in two days), followed by a trip to a Coventry house party or two. Everybody was clearly extremely happy to have finished for the holidays for some well-deserved downtime. The big event of the night however was the midnight launch of Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi - despite feeling a little meandering at times, I loved it. JJ Abrams really understands how to make a Star Wars film for Star Wars fans, and Mark Hamill came to the fore as well as ever. Go see it - VIII/VIII would Jedi again.