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Independents' Day

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we do the CSA

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It’s that time of year again when we (yes, including doctors!) allow ourselves to eat to excess, drink to excess and maybe sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ loudly and badly on New Year’s Eve.

It is a time for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company and a time for giving and receiving presents.

But, of course, for some people, it can be a miserable and lonely time. For our colleagues working in A&E, the Christmas and New Year period can be a potentially hellish time - as well as, sometimes, amusing…

Next year holds many new possibilities for me, but the joy of the New Year celebrations will be quickly darkened by the looming juggernaut that is the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) exam.

In the four-hour exam, you must speak to thirteen pseudo-patients (actors) for 10 minutes each, trying to find out what is wrong with them, what their ‘Ideas, Concerns and Expectations’ are, and not get flustered when you have no clue what is going on but maintain your cool, smile and be friendly.

This can be hard when you remember that this exam is the cost of a nice holiday abroad - a ‘bargain’ £1,694.

My thoughts are a bit blinkered because of the CSA, but starting from today I start my Christmas holiday and I plan to eat some mince pies, have a glass or two of mulled wine and try not to mumble all of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on New Year’s Eve.

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GPST3 from Swindon

Readers' comments (6)

  • What a load of tosh!

    Best doctor I worked with always had his consulting room cold and didn't have a chair for the punter to sit on.

    No faffing around there and he rarely missed a significant diagnosis.

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  • John Lodge,

    I'm sure you know but the best "doctor" is not always the best "GP".

    At my practice, I see far more patient, hardly ever run late, and the best 2ww cancer referral appropriateness and pickup rates. My partner is always late, often faffs about, not very business minded and less keen on managing to NICE guideline.

    Guess who gets much more thank you cards and presents from grateful patients? I'll give you a clue, it's not me....

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  • When you are eating, drinking and being merry and indeed when you pass your CSA (which I am sure you will), do spare a thought for your IMG GP trainee colleagues. The New year will only bring them one surety, that they will fail the exam (again).
    Best wishes for the festive season.

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  • Merry Christmas to everybody and a Happy new year, but do spare a moment for all those IMG trainee doctors who have been thrown out of the VTS referred to GMC and have been separated from their wives and kids. With no money in their pockets they are all ready to challenge the mammoth RCGP wish them luck.

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  • There is no such thing clinical skill in csa

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  • How's the Intermittant Fasting going?

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