Yesterday, I had the pleasure of conducting the first medical grand round of the academic year with Szeto. I have always dreamed of doing a grand round with the walking Harrison. The intellectual exchange must be profound. Unfortunately, we took up a rather dull topic – introduction of the practical examination system.
Incidentally, I came across a comment by our student shortly before our presentation (http://liralen.xanga.com/700427944/item/). She was referring to my old entry on examination tactics (http://vwswong.blogspot.hk/2009/04/examination.html). That was a quote from Sima Yi:
According to our student, it's a pity that there is no significant difference in terms of prognosis of the last 3 options. This cannot be farther from the truth.
Above all, the final year professional examination has the lowest failure rate compared to all other examinations our graduates will face in the future. History is full of examples of students talking nonsense throughout the examination and still becoming doctors. Just this year for example, I encountered a girl with impeccable English but undetectable knowledge. Almost every sentence she said was wrong, but she picked up our non-verbal cues and rephrased her statement immediately every time. Szeto also examined her and arrived at the same conclusion. To our utter astonishment, all ten examiners passed her.
Now, saying that the last three strategies make no difference would certainly disappoint Mr Sima. When you do not know the answer, you can try to talk about things you know first and work the way through, skillfully change the topic, or sincerely admit your deficiencies. All these tactics seldom lead to failure.
Sir Ferguson enjoys big wins, but also understands the importance of drawing a difficult game. Only the team that does not give up can win the league.