So bloody simple?
Assessing your own competence on the wards
- By: Richard Thorley
When asked to do something by their clinical team for the first time, most students feel a mixture of pride and apprehension. On one hand, you are pleased to be entrusted with tasks that will let you practice your clinical skills and contribute to the team; on the other, you worry about whether you are competent to do what has been asked. Medical students have to become competent in various clinical skills before they hit the wards as a junior doctor. Acquiring these competencies is a messy business full of challenging judgment calls, and the guidance available tends to be vague.
The General Medical Council (GMC) states that, “medical students have legal restrictions on the clinical work they can do.”1 It also advises that students should: “recognise and work within the limits of their competence and ask for help when necessary, accurately represent their position or abilities, and make sure