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 want to be examined. I then began to try and build a rapport and we began talking about his pet cat, with his face still buried. The examiner then asked me to describe any other observations I could find, which I did; such as the presence of a hearing aid, and his developmental ability. After almost six minutes and with the station nearing a close the child agreed to let me examine his eye.
As the station progressed, I relaxed, as this scenario is very similar to those we face in every day clinical practice, and I behaved as I would usually; in other words tried to be calm, but creative in my approach. The examiner was also sensitive in their approach.
On reflection, I should have reminded myself earlier that the exam tries to assess your ability in a realistic manner, and I was aware that the marking sheets do take into account how co-operative the child is as a patient.