War Stories

The following war stories have been written by the trainees who have contributed to this site, having made an attempt at the MRCPCH clinical exam.

The stories are an attempt to give an insight into the exam, and to help prepare future candidates for the exam.

If you have a good story to tell that you think would help future trainees, please do let us know and we would be delighted to publish it.

  • You can never tell…….

    Having seen various patients with what appeared to be peripheral nerve disorders enter and exit the neuro/other station, as I entered, I saw a young girl sitting with a visual aid walking stick. I was subsequently asked to examine a 13 year old girl’s Cranial Nerves. I started my routine cranial nerve exam asking about sense ...

  • Sweat the small stuff

    I was asked to take a history from a 13-year-old boy with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who has had operation of his heart in the past and has been getting increasingly short of breath over the past few months. His mother and him were worried about his symptoms. I explored his symptoms and then went on ...

  • If you’re in a hole, stop digging

    I was, I thought, doing fairly well up to this stage, and was particularly confident about the cardiovascular station. The examiner then asked me to examine the CVS on what appeared to be a completely well young child. I started the exam as always, looking for scars and was a bit phased when the child did ...

  • Don’t be thrown if you need to talk about cats to get to an eye…

    I was waiting outside the ‘Musculoskeletal/Other’ station with a feeling of dread, and on entering the room was asked ‘please examine this child’s eye’. This was not an area I felt particularly confident in and my heart fell… I approached the four year old boy who was huddled up with his Mother and clearly did not ...

  • Say what you see!

    During my gastro station I had a patient with a number of signs that I couldn’t put together. They had one particular finding that I was unable to describe properly and had never seen before but I gave it a shot and described it as an open ended small stoma on the right hand side ...

  • Communication War Story

    My first station in the clinical examination was communication. I was feeling fairly confident as this was an area that i had done well in during practice sessions.  The scenario was to explain to a medical student who had just completed an attachment on the NICU, the complications of extreme prematurity. The station started well, i ...

  • The bigger picture

    My first station of the exam was cardiovascular, and naturally I was quite nervous. I walked in to find the examiner singing away with a 5 year old boy, who was very enthusiastic. He asked me to “examine the cardiovascular system”, and I got started with my examination. I was focused on getting the diagnosis as quickly ...

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