With creating wealth we want to move from active to passive income as quickly as possible, but with MRCP revision we want to move from passive to active learning. The reason is simple: how much information do you retain when you read a paragraph from a textbook or guidelines on the management of chronic lymphyocytic leukaemia?
You most likely have a better memory than me but I typically retain 40 – 50% if I’m lucky. This number reduces further if I’m revising in a sleep-deprived state or if I’m unmotivated, which is often the case after an acute medicine shift.
On the flip side, the number drastically improves to perhaps 80 – 90% if I test myself. There are numerous ways to test yourself, including rote learning where you’re writing information out multiple times.
However I’ve found that by far the best way to do so is to teach medical students. Yes, teach medical students MRCP! If you’re trying to memorise the pneumothorax guidelines down to specifics, the best way is actually to regurgitate them to a keen medical student.
Not only are you removing the awkwardness of a student standing in the corner (remember we were all students at one stage?), you’re also providing immense value to them as most doctors are simply too busy on the ward or don’t care enough to even teach. It’s win-win.
Even if you don’t feel ready, try and explain a concept in detail to the medical student and if you don’t remember everything, be honest! The embarrassment you’ll face is the whole reason you’re doing this. If you can only recall 50% this time around, I can assure you will revisit the guidelines again tonight to avoid the same feeling the next time you teach.
Do this two or three times and you’ll achieve close to 100% recall, and a reputation for being that amazing doctor who loves to teach.
Hope that helps and good luck!
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.