Today was a formative spot check (formative meaning that it doesn’t count towards your degree classification is just for practice) – and it was just as well that it was formative too, cause everything that could have gone wrong just about did! I didn’t struggle with the content at all – I was just, generally, a bit of an idiot the whole way through.
The test was a set of 25 stations, each lasting 1 minute each where you were asked two questions. The first question was always an identifier question – a pin is placed somewhere in the body and you have to identify it. The second question is either a second pin or a question about the structure which had pin 1 in it. (However, I should note that this is not the case for medical anatomy spot checks – you only have to identify structures).
The test started really well with a few simple questions which eased me right in. I was feeling pretty confident right up until the point I realised I started at station 18, but had written my first answer the station 1 boxes at the top of the answer sheet, as you would normally do when you answer questions in a test, and had continued like this for about 3 or 4 stations. After a lot of scribbling and re-writing later, I managed to fix my early error, only to later realise that I hadn’t been writing whether the structure I was identifying was on the right or the left (easy marks, but easily forgotten – the question merely says ‘identify structure 1’). So, I had to set my mind back to each question and try and remember which side everything was on – not as easy as you might think – whilst trying to answer the station I was at.
Just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I wrote down two answers which I was sure I had written down earlier. Turns out I had done this station before. Each cadaver has two stations at it, one on one side, and one at the other. When I first came to the cadaver, I could see the labels on the other side of the cadaver and so thought they were for my station. Unfortunately, I had completely missed the station I was meant to do. Woops!
So, I made just about every error they tell you to watch out for in anatomy spot checks, but I don’t think I’ll be making them again anytime soon! I’m glad it was just a practice and feel that I’ve done quite well in general and will probably be able to do better in future if I don’t disadvantage myself too much!