ashratnam

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About ashratnam

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    India
  • Occupation
    Psychiatry CT3
  • Status
    MRCPsych

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  1. The sponsor has no financial responsibilities. He’s just someone endorsing that you’re a psychiatrist.
  2. Guys, could someone answer this question please!?
  3. Dear sarah, Thanks to the support of friends here, and thanks to the blessings of my parents, well-wishers and patients, I’ve cleared the CASC. This was my first attempt and I can’t put into words how helpful this forum was for me. I tried contacting people who were giving the exam from India, but my attempts to reach out failed meaning I had no one to practice with and was only left to using videos and the odd skype chat. In this situation, here is what I did as part of my preparation 1. I realised that pretty much ALL the stations are repeats. This may seem sneaky, but if we think about it objectively there are a few core areas that we need to know well in any subject, and the exam would be failing in its purpose if it didn’t assess these core areas for any prospective psychiatrists. So they are bound to have mostly repeats. I first made a list of ALL the past CASC stations that had appeared using the book Pass the CASC by Sheshni Moondilar. I told myself that I would finish and revise ALL of them to at least maximize the chances of there being a lot of ‘familiar’ stations that I could do better at and more so feel comfortable attempting. I made lists of videos in the various video banks and the collection of past stations, subject area wise. This is so both lists can be cross-checked and maximum ground is covered. 2. If you’re in the same boat as me, get hold of a good video resource. In the stations that I had particular problems with, I made my own mini-cluster cards using videos from PasstheCASC and the along with the book above. Gradually I came to see that most of the interviews were structured in largely the same way – there was an introduction, asking what the patient already knew, then moving on to the body of the interview, and lastly covering risk if so required. 3. In my own cluster cards, where I was fumbling, instead of symptoms, I entered actual questions to make sure they didn’t slip my mind on the day of the exam. 4. I made it a point to revise the cards or stations I was fumbling on more than I would revise the other stations. For example, I was initially poor on taking a psychosexual history, but I kept revising it until I was satisfied with my comfort and familiarity levels. The best way to strengthen a weakness is to give it time, even though emotion would want us to avoid it. 5. I bought a stopwatch and began timing myself to make sure that I could run through a particular card within the specified time period. Also I made sure that I could make myself a rough outline of the cluster card within approximately 90 seconds (the time we were provided before each station). This was a big comforter on the day of the exam so I knew that at least the things I couldn’t reproduce spontaneously I had down on paper 6. There is nothing like getting a practice group going. If you can connect with some people on this forum and practice some stations together, that's a massive massive plus. 7. On the day of the exam, I made sure to convey empathy. The actors were all very forthcoming once they knew that you were there with a view to help them as patients. But making sure you convey this I felt was a part of the test itself. This is probably where some of us IMGs struggle, but I feel in your case this is not too much of a weakness. 8. Finally I stopped relying on anyone else. Honestly, I realized that I was probably going to have to do this on my own. I had attended a course but felt it didn’t do me much good – I was very uncomfortable about how I felt just as lost in the beginning of it as I was at the end of it. It was a situation I knew I had to deal with myself now. So I got the resources together and put in the work. Best of luck. By coming on this forum and asking questions, you’ve already exponentially increased your chances of passing.
  4. Hello friends, I’m an Indian Psychiatrist looking towards working in the UK. As things stand I’ve just finished the MRCPsych (TODAY!) and work in a Registrar’s capacity in India. I was hoping some of the more experienced members of the forum could shed a bit of light onto working with recruitment agencies. 1. What is their role exactly, meaning which parts of the recruitment process do they participate in / assist with, and to what degree? 2. Secondly, for an international graduate, are there any specific agencies you recommend (or not) based on any personal experiences? Sorry if this seems like a rather basic question, but as things stand right now, I’m pretty uninformed. Thank you
  5. Greetings friends, This time’s Paper B is supposed to have been a massacre, a lot of people were complaining about how tough it was and a guy at my center even refused to hand over the answer sheets when time ended, begging for more time to fill up questions he’d left blank. Mine didn’t go as well as I wanted either, but I still managed to pass thanks in large part to the good wishes of my family, friends and patients. I’ll share my two bits on how to go about it 1. The Critical Assessment (CA) part is going to be brutal tough not so much from the point of view of what to do, but WRT finding the information to do it with. You will be given a massive paragraph or a chart and at the end of it have to first FIND the relevant data to do the questions at the end. Once you figure that out, it’s still relatively do-able. You will feel anxious, but DON’T GIVE UP. I felt part of the test was being able to pick out the information to use in those massive paragraphs and tables. Once you do that, the rest of it is simple math. (DO NOT EVEN THINK of NOT taking a calculator) 2. Timing your attempt is crucial. I think if you leave any questions, you’re hurting yourself bad. What I did was finish the Non-CA Psychiatry clinical MCQs first. I prominently marked questions I’d left with big, un-missable circles so I could come back to them later EASILY. DO COME BACK and fill in what your BEST GUESS is, NEVER NEVER NEVER leave anything blank. 3. Do as many practice questions in the run up to the exam as possible. I agree with what from what friends on the forum here said i.e. the college seems to be veering away from repeating questions per se. However the INFORMATION covered in the questions did and will stay the same because that is the most important and clinically useful part of the information. This is what reading AROUND questions means, and it is the only thing which will serve anyone in good stead. 4. Not being from the UK, I knew I would have to bank upon good professional resources – I did the SPMM course, the MRCPsychMentor and BMJOneExam. Yet again, I must say these courses are very well designed but don’t expect exact question repeats. 5. I doubt you will find ANY questions in any of these courses which truly mimic the actual CA questions that we had on the exam. It is therefore important to know what you should know cold, cold (e.g formulae, MCQ type questions on sensitivity specificity Cost analysis etc). This is so you can put those marks in the bank and then begin dragging yourself across the finish line. 6. Don’t sweat the EMIs too much; they’re very do-able and very much along the lines of Paper A. Overall, I thought the exam was significantly tougher than Paper A. But I must thank friends on this forum for providing good guidance and support. If you didn’t make it this time, chin up and NEVER GIVE UP.
  6. Greetings friends. The Royal College itself is conducting a CASC preparation course that’s supposed to specifically be catered for IMGs like myself. http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/traininpsychiatry/conferencestraining/courses/cascpreptrainingoman.aspx 1. 1. I wanted to know if any of you have attended the course, and if so what was it like? 2. 2. Would you recommend it over the OxfordCourse program (a 2 day setup held in Abu Dhabi)? One thing I specifically liked about this course was that they placed a lot of emphasis on what a CASC is and how to go about approaching one. This is a lacuna I’m very worried about being an IMG and having never had any experience in the UK. 3. In this light, during a course like the OxfordCourse, do they explain for the benefit of novices what the CASC is like and what is expected or are you just thrown into actual CASC like scenarios and made to fend for yourself, and then are later assessed? Thank you
  7. Thank you. I would appreciate any help at all My email is ashratnam@yahoo.com ; please get back to me as soon as your time permits. Thanks again and many congratulations
  8. Congratulations on clearing the CASC, trainee1. I also commend your attitude to help others in the boat you have just managed to leap out of. It speaks of true character and gratitude. I wanted to know your opinion on the OxfordPsych courses. They have made an offer, almost bending over backwards to go out of their stated calendar program (though I admit it does make more financial sense for them) to arrange a course for us here in India if I manage to get 04 students together. It will end up being significantly cheaper than going to England or Abu Dhabi to attend, so I at least commend the gesture. The second is what is the difference / which would you recommend between SPMM videos or Passthecasc.com I’m someone who has never had any exposure to the UK work environment. Thank you and congratulations again
  9. Greetings, I am interested but I don't know what to bring to the table for the CASC. You seem to be working in the UK, I'm in INdia and have no experience of the UK setup. I'm looking to attend a course as well as the setup is extremely alien to me. How do people go about practicing together?
  10. Hi Ronny, thanks for your kind inputs. However as per the website of oxfordcourse, they don't have any courses in India. Have you had any experience with the passthecasc videos? Many members in this forum itself claim the SPMM videos are worse than passthecasc and vice versa. I'm someone who has had NO experience in the UK, and in truth I'm still trying to wrap my head around what the CASC exam is like. It's extremely confusing having to hear so many conflicting answers regarding what's the best course to do.
  11. Hello everyone. Sorry if my questions are flogging a dead horse all over again. Though can you blame a guy who’s never seen a living horse before either? I’m getting pretty overwhelmed by the prospect of entering the CASC format, being so unfamiliar with what the whole thing entails. 1. I wanted to know if anyone has attended the Oxfordpsych courses at Abu Dhabi? How was it and what do they cover? I specifically ask about the Abu Dhabi center as it's the one I'm most likely to be able to afford to attend (considering airfare, etc). 2. Will the makeup of the CASC be covered in the Oxfordpsych courses? 3. And would you rather do the Oxfordpsych course or the passthecasc.com video series run by Dr Mishra? Thanking you in anticipation