By Hannah Brown in MRCP PACES on Thursday, May 21, 2009 @ 14:58
In December we launched the first PACES course online, ‘PacesCases’, with only 25 cases. Five months on we’re coming to the end of the launch, and we now have 200 key exam cases. Feedback has been excellent, and our favourite success stories have been candidates who didn’t attend PACES courses, but used PacesCases to prepare, and passed first time!
If practising PACES technique online sounds to you like the least natural approach ever try one of our free trial subscriptions and see for yourself! Each case starts with your brief from the ‘examiners’ about the patient you’re about to meet. Here’s where you need to get your game head on – think like you’re at the exam – what will you be looking for – symptoms, scars etc? How will you introduce yourself to the patient? Plan your approach in your head, and then watch the ‘perfect’ examination unfold. Then watch our experts explain how they tackled the case, and the key things to remember. So. You’ve done your examination, what’s the diagnosis? Watch what the experts think, and how they reached their conclusions. Complete the case with questions around the condition, symptoms and diagnosis to ensure all-round knowledge.
What PacesCases offers that ‘traditional’ courses can’t, is the opportunity to spend as much time as you want with the patient, over and over again – rewind, pause and fast forward at your leisure. Listen to the heart and lung sounds of ‘rare’ (but not rare for the exam!) cases and interpret scars, locomotor and skin conditions in our extensive clips library, great for helping with spot cases.
Can PacesCases replace face-to-face clinical courses? We’d like to think not – PacesCases works as the perfect partner to the PasTest PACES course. Whereas the PACES course concentrates on examination technique, presenting your findings and perfecting your approach, PacesCases combines volume of cases with examination tips and hints. I’d recommend using PacesCases for as long as 6 months before a course while you build your confidence – a course should be about perfecting your technique (and being told you’re already brilliant), rather than the first time you think about it – think how high your confidence would be if you’re told you’d get a clear pass in the full mock with weeks to go before the exam! Plus, as soon as you book your place on a 4-day PasTest PACES course you’ll be given free access to PacesCases until the end of November (worth £245), and of course it will mean you have a course place, as in May they sold out 6 weeks before they started!.
Starting early is especially important for the next diet – we’ll be adding ‘new’ Station 5 cases (integrated clinical assessment) to PacesCases in August, so you can get a head start on Station 5 before the courses in September and October.