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Special Message from Dr Clare Gerada, Former RCGP Chair.

Personal Message From Our Beloved Former RCGP Chair, Professor Clare Gerada!

Today’s Registrars are Tomorrow’s GPs.

So Just For You & Your Success in CSA!

The Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) is a turning point on the path to becoming a General Practitioner.

It takes us away from theory, books and lecture halls and puts us through our paces with patients in realistic consultation situations.

You will do 13 simulated consultations, each case linked to learning outcomes from the MRCGP curriculum and designed to present you with a variety of the types of patients and issues that GPs experience – patients of different genders and ages, presenting with health and other issues of varying degrees of complexity and difficulty; in the surgery, in a home visit and over the phone.

While they are simulated consultations, they are designed to closely resemble the sorts of real-life consultations that GPs experience every day of their working lives – which is why the CSA is so important.

It looks at the emerging GP as a whole, including how you handle the personal side of interaction with your patients, and how they react to you.

The CSA tests your data-gathering, technical and assessment skills, clinical management skills and interpersonal skills.

Can you communicate effectively with patients?

How do you apply what you’ve learned effectively and efficiently within a time limit?

Can you make a diagnosis during a consultation with a patient and resolve management issues in a way that the patient can deal with?

You will have ten minutes for each consultation.
It may seem a daunting challenge – but it’s also an exciting opportunity for you to experience what being a GP is really like.This is what you have been training for, a working life of interaction with patients in situations just like those which form the CSA.

Patients who are experiencing health and other issues, and who have placed their trust in you as someone who can and will help them.

Good consulting is about maintaining a flow, making sure the patient is involved, and making sure things stay relevant to the issues being presented.
You won’t score well in the CSA if you appear disorganised, jump between subjects, fail to listen properly and then have to repeat questions, or if you try to stick to any kind of script or formula with each different setting.
A blanket approach won’t work because you are having an exchange with a person – not a case number.

You need to show that you can connect with people immediately, that you are sensitive to their individuality, their feelings and reactions and that you are genuinely interested in them.
Some conversations with patients are on things that can make them feel vulnerable, so show the assessors that you can find an approach, a set of words and even a tone of voice, that convey to your patients that you have empathy for what they are telling you and that you can put them at ease.

You must be able to recognise whether or not your patients understand you during a consultation – and if they don’t, you’ll need to find another way to reach them at their level of understanding without wasting time or making the patient feel silly.
It’s also possible that in the course of a consultation, an issue will come up that you don’t know about. Being honest and open with your patients is key.
You won’t do well if you don’t acknowledge that it’s outside your knowledge, or if you appear to be uneasy about that.

Managing the ten minutes consultation time effectively is crucial and will test all your problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
You must not put off making a diagnosis or clinical decision, leaving yourself short of time to run through the management options properly.

Remember, too, that all your clinical decisions should be grounded in UK medical practice, linked to recognised algorithms or modes of practice as suggested by NICE, SIGN, or other national guidelines.

You’re expected to be able to lay out a range of reasonable management options in response to the problems patients present to you, and ensure that they are acceptable to the patients or can be tailored to suit them.

It is a lot to cover in a short space of time, but this is an accurate reflection of the demands on jobbing GPs and CSA assessors will be looking to ensure that you’ve mastered the techniques required for effective consultations with your patients.

Have faith that all your training, knowledge and skills will come to the fore and that consultations will go better if you approach all your patients with personal care and thoughtfulness, not just science.

Professor Clare Gerada

Former Chair, RCGP.

August, 2012.

Hi Friend!
Me Again!
I thank our beloved Professor Dr Gerada on behalf of all of you for her beautiful message highlighting all the sensitive and vital points of our CSA Exam Preparation. Today’s Registrars are tomorrow’s GPs. The quality of education we receive is vitally important to the successful future of General Practice. As Professor Gerada says, General Practice will never be an exact science.It will always depend on enthusiastic teachers and ambitious registrars who are really hungry for new knowledge and skills.
That’s all my friend!
Let us kick start our practice!
To Your Success!
Hema xoxo.
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