MRCP Psychology

Depression is ruminating about the past whilst anxiety is worrying needlessly about the future.

Today’s short post is to remind you to celebrate every little success you achieve because life is busy and life is difficult. Before we finish medical school our thoughts are already fixed upon applying for foundation posts. Before we complete core medical training, we’re already worrying about how to be a medical registrar.

Before I enjoy the rest of my Thursday night, I’m already thinking ahead towards my three night shifts this weekend. Another set of night shifts?! Yes.

The first point I want to make that will hopefully make progress towards anxiety and depression amongst medics is to live in the moment. By being present, we automatically forget about the past and stop worrying about a future that may never materialise. This amazing guy can explain it much more eloquently in his book.

In my MRCP book and Youtube videos I advocate setting aside a memorable 100 hours over 8 weeks for MRCP Part 1. Some people are able to attain and surpass this number of hours with ease and if that’s you, I respect you very much.

I have always and still find it very difficult to concentrate because there are just so many other things going on at the same time. During MRCP Part 1 preparation I remember squeezing one hour before a night shift and perhaps a cheeky 15 minutes if I arrived at work slightly early. I used to beat myself up because I didn’t live up to my expectations of studying 20 hours per week, which was “only” 3 hours per day. Not only did I have to deal with the mammoth exam I had to deal with the thoughts of inadequacy and failure.

I have learnt my lesson.

Nowadays every hour of work done is a success. Due to nights and the recent thoracic CT course in Edinburgh I haven’t managed to do any reading at all in the last two weeks. I picked up the book again tonight hoping to rack up a couple of hours to get the ball rolling again. I succeeded for a magnificent 30 minutes before losing myself again in another dragon ball super video. That’s why you shouldn’t use youtube to study…

Instead of indulging in all the self-destructive thoughts and behaviour I was so inclined towards in the past, I now accept that 30 minutes is much better than nothing. 30 minutes every day for 2 months is 30 hours of solid revision.

As my beloved reader, I urge you to practice this second point. Instead of constantly worrying about trying to attain 50, 100 or 200 hours of revision in the next few months, just enjoy the process. Amuse yourself with how human you really are. Amuse yourself by how easily distracted you can be. Just like how easily you admit you should be studying more than you are right now, you should be equally quick to congratulate yourself for every hour you manage to study because it’s hard.

If you enjoyed this article make sure you get your own copy of my MRCP Part 1 & 2 Written Guide. In this guide, I explore the above and other concepts such as time allocation and the most preferable resources for the written exams in much more detail.

Alternatively, if you’ve passed the written exams then How to Pass MRCP PACES in 8 Weeks will take you through your next and final hurdle. The reason an entire new guide has been written about this mammoth clinical exam reflects the different skills and attitude you need when tackling MRCP PACES. Instead of simply relying on reading textbooks, you’ll need to utilise a concept called the PACES Triangle to successfully navigate the examiners’ obstacles.