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Guest justin

Essay Titles + Tips

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Hi there,

This message board should be an excellent facility for aiding revision considering the quantity and quality of its readers. However only a small percentage of the readers appear to have contributed anything useful to this area so far which is a great shame considering the potential. We are entering a competitive exam which means that people may not be responding to the letters for one of two reasons

1. They feel if they contribute anything useful then their competitors will use that information to get the edge. Therefore they should keep all useful information to themselves. However one study which was carried out with students showed that if they were given the answers to their questions beforehand it did not alter the overall standing of the students i.e. those that were motivated enough to learn the answers would have done well anyway. The knowledge that can be collected here is a useful resource but the bottom line is that it is your hard work and determination that gets you through.

2. General apathy i.e reading a question and then going onto the next subject. However an extra one or two minutes thinking up useful points to reply with is useful revision in itself.

The first thing to do is to list possible essay titles. Using a combination of letters on this site and essays from a revision book I have made up the list that follows. There are four things that the readers could do which would be really useful

1. Criticise the questions as they are written - subtle changes to the wording might make them more suitable as exam questions

2. Prioritise Questions in order of likelihood of coming up in the exam

3. Creat additional essay titles

4. Add plans/points to the essay titles created. New threads can be created for each essay title.

Here is the list thus far

1. 'A patient with schizophrenia appears quite untroubled by his condition. How would you justify enforcing treatment that he is unwilling to accept' - title in letter entitled 'essay'

2. 'Use of atypical neuroleptic in first onset schizophrenia with support from literature/evidence' - letter re: exam just passed

3. 'Using PD and LD as reference discuss the principle and ethical dilemma of mental health legislation' - '' ''

4. 'Use of psychological treatment in schizophrenia and depression with support from literature' - '' ''

5. 'Over the next twenty years the number of elderly people is predicted to increase significantly. How is this likely to affect the mental health services' - essay 5/10

6. 'Should the work of child and adolescent psychiatrists be integrated into a paediatrics service instead of a mental health service' - essay 6/10

7. 'Debate over value of qualititative research - another letter

8. 'Discuss the impact of recent reforms on the NHS on the provision of psychiatric services' - essay 4/10

9. 'Discuss the role of psychiatry in the assessment and management of sexual offenders' - essay 3/10

10. 'Discuss how you would develop a mental health service that is more repsonsive to the needs of women' - essay 2/10

11. 'Recent advances in the field of genetics offer hope to sufferers of mental illness. Discuss' - essay 1/10

12. 'Discuss medical classification and how it has been applied in psychiatry' - 'Pass the MRCPsych I and II'

13. 'How can exploratory psychotherapy lead to a worsening of a patient's condition? What can be done to reduce this? - 'Pass the MRCPsych I and II'

14. 'Genetics of alcoholism' - in another letter on this forum

Questions 2-5 have come up in last years exam and 14 also came up before apparently. Question 8 was criticised as being too specific (as the MRCPsych is an international exam) in referring to the NHS.

There are a number of useful tips for writing essays given in Pass the MRCPsych I and II - Williams et al - and it is well worth obtaining a copy.

One thing that would be quite useful is improving the efficiency of writing. I for one have difficulty in writing very quickly - there is one tip I have heard which is to write very lightly as then you are expending less energy but presumably this depends on the type of pen you are using. Does anyone have any advice on this matter or any pens that they specifically use for writing in exams i.e rollerball, biro etc

Best of luck everyone

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Justin

I am pleased that you have joined the forum and made a very pertinent observation .It is frustrating to know that over 100 members have viewed my essay plan in the last month yet no one has put in a single comment either good or bad , I am sure that other members must have essay plans for some of the other titles and it would be nice to see them, as you say only with hard work we all get through the exam but every little bit helps

jonny ;)

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Thanks Jonny,

Well i had a look at your essay on genetics and psychiatry and listed a few ideas. From now on i'm going to put my money where my mouth is and get on with putting essay plans online for debate

Regards

Justin

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Here are some essay titles I have thought up

1. Discuss the differences between general adult and old age psychiatric services and why these services should remain separate

2. The occurrence of organic personality disorders supports the hypothesis that personality disorders per se reflect underlying brain abnormalities. Discuss critically

3. Compare and contrast the effects of dependence inducing psychoactive substances paying particular reference to the proposed underlying neuropharmacological mechanisms of action. Use this as a basis for discussing the management of dependence in each case.

4. Discuss critically why schizotypal personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia should remain as distinct diagnoses.

5. Psychotherapy should be used as a first line treatment for depression. Discuss critically paying particular reference to both service provision and the evidence base.

6. Phobic anxiety disorders are completely treatable. Discuss paying particular reference to the evidence.

7. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a sleep clinic in every service. How would you develop such a service.

8. There is no evidence to support the use of evidence based practice. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using evidence based practice in the light of this statement.

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Pass the MRCPsych Essay by Christopher Williams and Peter Trigwell by Saunders '96.

I haven't had a chance to look at it, but will be doing soon. Its the only book i've seen on the Essay (solely) and by the same team that brought you pass the MRCpsych.

Its packed with information

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