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psychdoctor

Casc exam is illegal like hsmp rules which were amended after court ruling

17 posts in this topic

hi

i feel the casc exam is illegal for the following reasons.

1.creating an artificial scenario of seven minutes is unfair as in real life we will never finish any assessment in 7 minutes.although the college may say that they are asking to test only one aspect of the assessment it would be unfair for the candidates as well as for the examiners as it takes few minutes to settle down into station and this should be taken in to account and exam should mimic a real life situation for it to be fair and psychiatry is different from other branches of medicine as it involves dealing with human emotions and not just clinical symptoms.

2.It is unfair as it can not be verified objectively in case of a dispute between the candidate and the college, however if there is a video recording of the stations any disagreements can be dealt by having an independent  panel of consultants(like jury) to rate each station by each member of jury and an avarage should be taken as a score for the station for fairness,infact this method can be used for whole examination which would be recorded at donvally and actual scoring can be done by a panel of examiners assesing the later as above for fairness also to save valuable clinical time of nhs consultants.

3.Royal college has a responsibility to have an exam which can identify the best psychiatric talent in trainees to progress on to become consultants rather than finding the best actors who can hold their nerve for 7 minutes with minimum knowledge and maximum communication and anxiety management skills.

4.many brilliant psychiatrists are not able to progress because they are not able to mitigate an artificial exam situation in the station which is a shame and totally unfair.

we have to form a forum to go to court and win against the unfair exam process.

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1. Your first point - what is the alternative??? the old i hour exam was scrapped because they thought it was unstandardised... and the college will quote hundreds of literature saying that these 7 minute assessments and the WPBAs are all very relevant and standardised and actually reflects clinical practise... although I personally think it does not...

2. Your point is well taken...

3. No it does not have the responsibility to have an exam to identify the 'best' psychiatric talents... it has the responsibility to identify people who are fit for being its members (meet basic standards to be a member)... that has nothing to do with the best psychiatric talent...

4. Agreed with your fourth point...

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There is a difference between something being unfair and something being illegal. You would need to define which law had been broken before you are able to mount a legal challenge to the exam.

The point about video cameras is a fair one (albeit likely to raise the cost of the exam even more as there will be additional expense on equipment), and you should bring it up with the college, or your local PTC rep to take forward.

Sadly though the style of exam is very much in favour with educationalists and there is some evidence to show that OSCEs improve the reliability and validity of the process. I think it will be difficult to argue that a different method is better for this reason.

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1. Your first point - what is the alternative??? [highlight]the old i hour exam was scrapped because they thought it was unstandardised..[/highlight]. and the college will quote hundreds of literature saying that these 7 minute assessments and the WPBAs are all very relevant and standardised and actually reflects clinical practise... although I personally think it does not...

2. Your point is well taken...

3. No it does not have the responsibility to have an exam to identify the 'best' psychiatric talents... it has the responsibility to identify people who are fit for being its members (meet basic standards to be a member)... that has nothing to do with the best psychiatric talent...

4. Agreed with your fourth point...

Don't know what others feel, but while I agree that the long case might have been unstandardised, I thought it was a good way to test the skills of a psychiatrist- in fact it was one of the best exams I have taken in my life- and yes, I failed it once as well!

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I think this debate has been held or so long on this forum............it only gets revived after each diet of the CASC.

Mindhealer.............as Chris pointed out.......it may be unfair but illegal is another thing entirely.

As i have stated before.................you can say the same for most assessments in medical schools and for the PLAB. I wonder why many didnt feel the PLAB was unfair....since it also creates an artificial scenario.

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I think this debate has been held or so long on this forum............it only gets revived after each diet of the CASC.

Mindhealer.............as Chris pointed out.......it may be unfair but illegal is another thing entirely.

As i have stated before.................you can say the same for [highlight]most assessments in medical schools and for the PLAB. I wonder why many didnt feel the PLAB was unfair....since it also creates an artificial scenario.

[/highlight]

Kreely, it is not the artificialness of the exam scenario but the appropriateness of such an exam to test the skills at this level of training. How many split second decisions does an SPR or consultant have to make? How many stalkers carrying knives does a consultant see within 7 or 10 minutes??? How many paedophiles does a consultant see and assess risk in 7 or 10 min. How many patients on Lithium has a [highlight]GP referred to a psychiatrist for a thyroid examination :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:[/highlight]to be done in 7 minutes????? How many times have you spoken to someone whose father is on Olanzapine without ascertaining all the facts and not having a clue who started it and why??? And how many times have you gone for an assessment having glanced through the referral for just 1 or 2 minutes???? The OSCE format is excellent to test very specific skills at a very basic level eg Medical colleges and PLAB and part 1. But a reliable global imnpression about assessment skills in psychiatry at SPR level cannot be formed in 7 minutes. I have not taken the old part2, I dont know how I would have fared. I know several very good doctors who failed the part2 but irrespective of that , I think and feel it was a better way compared to this fiasco ie CASC. At least it was a real patient you could talk to and there were 2 examiners.

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I too think that CASC has a ceiling effect, and it cannot take into consideration a number of things that a real life scenario does... and like Eeyore said, I think CASC would be more relevant for stations that tested procedural skills and some basic stuff... and probably even medical or surgical exams, where its a lot to do about ticking the boxes...

CASC is good for structured scenarios.... Psychiatric examination is much more than tick boxes... and thats exactly why those who blurt out PSE find it difficult to pass... I think psychiatric examination cannot be structured beyond a point... and that is where CASCs fails... I think... (I may be wrong)

Agree with Kreely, these stuff keep coming after each diet of the exam... but no one pursues them especially if one passes the next attempt... and to be honest, I am not sure the college will do anything... because a lot of these stuff are like MTAS... nobody will say it was rubbish until the man who invented it retires (or someone else comes up with a new idea)... because it is the bread and butter for one's progression...

For e.g. The person who invented MTAS and WPBAs etc will never admit that these systems are bullshit... and they will quote and conduct research to show that this system is good... and only then they have any scope of career progression... unfortunately at our expense...

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I agree with you mindhealer.  It is the most crappy exam and the most stupidest exam I have ever taken.  Let's go for challenging the College as to why they don't video us. They want to cover their backs because they know that if they video us they cannot fail people and make money. Bloody losers. Some of the examiners are pure racists. I am sorry I have to say this. One d..ck falied me in 2 seconds. As soon as I entered the station, he started marking all areas of concerns like there was no tomorrow.

I AM GOING TO MAKE  A BIG NOISE ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

During exams, examinees cannot be given verbal or non verbal cues as to how they are performing.

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OLD RUM IN NEW BOTTLE

this is exactly is all about this thread. I have read a lots of comments and threads about part-1 exam and then part-2 now on CASC exam. People just keep complaining (including me) but no one suggest solution( of course few have suggested video camera during CASC and then I suspect would complain that recording could be anxiety provoking). Hence honest advice would be

Don’t waste your time, start preparing for October 2009. I bet my last penny, you all forget this crap the day you see your name on CASC pass list.

This post is not to insult anyone. Please, please do not feel bad. I am just expressing my frustration and disagreement with this kind of discussion which would not solve any problem. The bottom line is, you want membership and if so, you got to pass CASC. It does not matter whether this is fair exam. There are so many sorry sad stories around the world but the life goes on.

God bless all of us and pass all of us in October CASC

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No it does not have the responsibility to have an exam to identify the 'best' psychiatric talents... it has the responsibility to identify people who are fit for being its members (meet basic standards to be a member)... that has nothing to do with the best psychiatric talent...

sadly taht is exactly waht they are failing to do.. they have set a cut off number of passing candidates each time and that is what hey are sticking to.. besides, the basic standards you mention are not being made transparent or shared with the trainees and candidates.. so we dont know what we are pitted against..

i'd be in a more comfortable position knowing that i was going to fight a 7 feet tall hulking muscleman to the death rather than facing an unknown opponent... in the case of the former i atleast know that i am going to be screwed badly !

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mindhealer wrote:

hi

i feel the casc exam is illegal for the following reasons.

1.creating an artificial scenario of seven minutes is unfair as in real life we will never finish any assessment in 7 minutes.although the college may say that they are asking to test only one aspect of the assessment it would be unfair for the candidates as well as for the examiners as it takes few minutes to settle down into station and this should be taken in to account and exam should mimic a real life situation for it to be fair and psychiatry is different from other branches of medicine as it involves dealing with human emotions and not just clinical symptoms.

2.It is unfair as it can not be verified objectively in case of a dispute between the candidate and the college, however if there is a video recording of the stations any disagreements can be dealt by having an independent  panel of consultants(like jury) to rate each station by each member of jury and an avarage should be taken as a score for the station for fairness,infact this method can be used for whole examination which would be recorded at donvally and actual scoring can be done by a panel of examiners assesing the later as above for fairness also to save valuable clinical time of nhs consultants.

3.Royal college has a responsibility to have an exam which can identify the best psychiatric talent in trainees to progress on to become consultants rather than finding the best actors who can hold their nerve for 7 minutes with minimum knowledge and maximum communication and anxiety management skills.

4.many brilliant psychiatrists are not able to progress because they are not able to mitigate an artificial exam situation in the station which is a shame and totally unfair.

we have to form a forum to go to court and win against the unfair exam process.

The case would not stand simply because all the above could be said about almost all exams and job interviews.

Secondly, for legal purposes, Royal college is not an educational institution like unversity but is a charity organisation (Royal College of Psychiatrists. Charity registration number 228636)No one can legally challenge a charity organisation about how it functions. it is for its members to decide.

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thats where you are wrong...a charity esp rcpsych can be challenged by a judicial review as it is incorporated under a royal charter and has the same liabilities as an individual which gives it & its members protection as well

But you have to identify a fault of process

Alternatively if enough hue & cry is raised the college can commission an inquiry ...just so to protect it rep...

A similar inquiry was conducted into the public health part 1

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Friends,

Thank you for all your valuable views.In addition to the fact that we have a task at hand to pass the MRCPsych and therfore get on with preparation,we all have responsibility to reflect on examinations,especially the down sides.

I feel every process of expression has got its own weaknesses and there is no ideal way forward.This post is an attempt to bring validity argument to the forefront and keep it live and burning till royal college take notice and atleast start an enquiry into it.The long term goal would be to prevent damage to good psychiatry trainees who are loosing training because of the defects in the exam system.

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I think the nature of the exam is 'unfair' rather than 'illegal'..

However i find changing the eligiblity criteria 'illegal'.

For example when someone took the old MRCPsych part 1 it didnt have an expiry date attached with the pass.. Now the college has unanimously branded an expiry date for that as July 2010..

Do you guys agree thats illegal?

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i dont think so if you have paased ur part1 exam in 2007 then 3 years is a good time complete ur exams if u cant then better to refresh the knowledge again and write the exam again as its not the old system now .

it would have been unfair if it was still the old system they changed the rules.

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psychedelic wrote:

I think the nature of the exam is 'unfair' rather than 'illegal'..

However i find changing the eligiblity criteria 'illegal'.

For example when someone took the old MRCPsych part 1 it didnt have an expiry date attached with the pass.. Now the college has unanimously branded an expiry date for that as July 2010..

Do you guys agree thats illegal?

No, changing something midway doesnt necessarily amount to illegality. Not even in all cases of a contract being broken does illegality surface.

Take for example.....you board a plane to India (in essence the airline has a contract with you to transport you to India on the basis of ur purchase of a tciket). If mid flight (due to many reasons), the pilot changes course and lands you at Pakistan...is that Illegal? Its a breach of contract which means you will be liable for compensation.

The word 'illegal' usually means breaking a law, or a criminal matter. Cases with the college will be civil matter if they break a contract 9if you can prove there was a contract in the 1st instance). A more easy example is the breach of existing contracts during the MMC fiasco........resulting in most trusts having to accomodate trainees who couldnt find another job.

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