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Chris

Some tips for PMPs that may/may not be helpful

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Here are some things I found helpful when trying to prepare for PMPs - hope they're of some use:

1. PMPs need not be difficult and they tend to follow a few similar patterns. They seem more difficult than they are because a) they are often about subspecialities B) both practicing and doing them in the exam is a stressful experience c) they have a reputation

2. The patterns include 'a risky patient', 'a non-compliant patient', 'assessment of a child', 'assessment of a learning difficulty patient', 'colleague troubles' - it often doesn't matter too much what the actual situation/presentation is, just substitute the appropriate words at the right time

3. The best way to decrease the stress/anxiety levels is to practice them until you are bored by them. Choose gradually increasing stressful practice sessions (you know all this) - maybe starting with 1 or 2 colleagues, then a SpR, then a consultant or in a lecture setting with everyone watching (!) - just keep going until you're very bored and nothing phases you. Start with nice(ish) people and move onto the real dragons.

4. Take a moment to think before opening your mouth

5. If you can structure the answer from the start you'll probably have passed before the end of your first sentence ! - ' In this situation the aspects I would consider first would be the patient's health and also their risk to themselves and other people. '

6. Speak confidently, not too fast and make eye contact.

7. Don't expect any further information from the examiners and don't ask them questions - just say what information you would like to have and how it would affect the managment plan.

8. Don't forget the 'wider picture' at the start - 17 year old girls with weight loss may be ill, abusing amphetamines etc. instead of anorexia (mention them but don't dwell)

9. In general children, learning diffficulty patients and the elderly will almost certainly need some form of multi-disciplinary assessment so don't forget it.

10. Don't forget management schema such as short term/long term and physical/psychological/social - it also helps in keeping a structure to the answer and structure is definitely good.

11. You'll almost certainly run through the 'background information' list (GP, Hospital notes, other members of the team, police etc.) on your first PMP (or the second) - don't repeat it every time; it's very dull and they already know how comprehensive you are !

That's all for now, please add other tips you know

Be seeing you

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Who else thinks Number 6 should be psychiatrist of the month again? Great tips - very much appreciated even though I probably wont be needing them now til June.

Elvis ::)

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Good tips thanks, no 6.

I think that its important not to overdo the 'full history and examonation bit' - after all the vignette is really about management so think quickly of management plan now and in future - maybe short-term and long-term view stating same. Don' t be reticent about making a decision in view of differential, candidates can sound vague if they are thinking about 'the right answer' and becaues afraid of not getting it include lots of angles - better to be logical and decisive as one has to be in real-life scenarios and state same. Then ( one will have passed because of mentioning key points they are looking for) discuss all the wierd and wunnerful stuff if given a chance.

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make sure when you practice you do it strictly in ten minute slots. when we started practicing we were getting huge long comprehensive answers, but when we started timing things found out that they sometimes take longer to give. so you have to be concise...

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thanks for the practical tips reg pmp.while answering i am told that one needs to keep talking,if allowed for 10 minutes!is it so?

some pmps while practicing we find hard to do so without going into unnecessary details-like 'i ll assesss depression-looking for low mood,lack of interest,lowered energy level...so on...' ???

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My general advice for any sort of viva situation which would include both the long case and the pmps is to keep talking...

This has the distinct advantage that while you are talking you are saying things that you know (and gaining 'points') and not being asked about things that you do not know.  In addition because exams are rather dull for the examiners it means that they don't have to think too hard.

The only proviso is this (and it is a big one) - what you say must have content. Don't just ramble on about nothing at all, or repeat yourself 3 times with different words - use the opportunity to move on (eg from diagnosis to management or from short term to long term or from medical to psychological) - keep it flowing and move the agenda forwards.

Be seeing you !

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One more thing...

When you are at the diagnosis stage, you needn't mention all the diagnostic features (eg listing 15 symptoms of depression) - saying something like 'taking a thorough history looking for the symptoms of depression as described in the ICD-10, particularly the cardinal features of low mood, loss of interest and reduced energy' - they can always ask you if they think you don't know the others, but might assume that if you say it confidently, as if you do it every day, that you do !

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Thanx Number 6. I shall certainly be keeping these tips in mind when I am sitting it...and good luck to everyone who is sitting the clinicals this time. It's my first time and I am frankly s******g myself :-[

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came across this old thread and felt number 6 advice is ver useful hence the reason i m bringing it forward....

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Wud like to add one tip which I heard from a conusltant...

Indians (like me)... tend not to talk at all... or tend to talk a lot with severe poverty of content and palilalia and perseveration.... (which I suffer from)

got to be careful...

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