Paediatrics is not child’s play. It is a challenging specialty that requires you to be a creative communicator as well as a resourceful and rigorous diagnostician. In this issue we have several articles to help you prepare for a placement and common exam scenarios in paediatrics.
Performing an examination on a newborn can be a daunting prospect, and on px Emma Parish, a medical education fellow at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London, provides a guide on how to make sure you don’t miss anything important.
On px, Karolina Kapeller, a foundation year two doctor, and Neil Chanchlani, specialist trainee in paediatrics, provide tips for the OSCE on childhood immunisation, including pointers on how to respond to common concerns or questions from parents.
When you go on a paediatrics placement, you could be forgiven for assuming that a lot of your time will be spent keeping children on the wards entertained. Wrong. There are trained professionals called play specialists who use play to help young people understand why they are in hospital and prepare for procedures, as well as injecting fun into the hospital environment. On px, Sally Carter, technical editor for Student BMJ, interviews Jenny Dyer to find out more about how play specialists support children throughout their stay in hospital.
And on px Tabitha Owen and Lizzy Choong, former patients at GOSH, tell us about how their peer groups are shaping the healthcare service and the way research is designed and conducted to make it more suited to young people.
It’s been five years since university tuition fees shot up to £9000 a year in the UK, and at the last general election the Labour party pledged to abolish tuition fees, while the Conservative party promised to freeze them at their annual conference in October 2017. On px, Anne Gulland, a freelance journalist, explores whether medical students in the UK are getting good value for their money and what effect the rise in fees has had on student expectations of the level of teaching and support they receive.
While UK students may worry about the high financial cost of studying medicine, students in other parts of the world face different concerns. On px, George Gillett talks to some medical students based in Syria, who describe the practical challenges of studying in a war torn country and what effect this is likely to have on their future careers.
Building rapport with an actor or patient in an OSCE can be tricky. How do you come across as empathetic and genuine in an artificial setting? Duncan Harding, author of Deconstructing the OSCE, offers advice on how to be “in the moment” on px. And on px, Kristen Davies, a final year medical student at Lancaster University, interviews four junior doctors who give their advice on common OSCE mistakes.
Don’t forget that we are accepting applications for our 2018 scholarship scheme. Join us for a few weeks during your elective, special study module, or summer break to help us write articles and produce videos for your fellow students. Find out more on how to apply on px.
If you are applying to medical school, we are now well into interview season. On p88, Mary Jane Platt, an admissions tutor from Norwich medical schools gives advice on how to talk about your work experience at your interview. And, on p90, we give an overview of some topical healthcare stories and related questions to consider when preparing for your interview.
All the best for 2018.Matthew Billingsley, editor, Student BMJ
Competing interests: None declared.
Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.