Our school has just introduced new objective structured clinical exams-we are the guinea pigs. It would be quite exciting were this not our finals. We wait nervously outside the exam room, bristling with newly sharpened pencils and polished tendon hammers. The rumour factory has been working overtime in speculating on the exam's content. Some think there will be lots of short cases, others imagine interpretation of x rays. One student interestingly predicts a swimsuit round. But we all know that such prophecy is slightly less reliable than a British weather forecast.
Eventually we are herded into a room and placed outside allotted curtained cubicles. We will move round at the sound of the bell. It is my contention that the use of these bells leaves an indelible impression on the fragile medical mind. The sound of a briskly rung handbell will always cause qualified doctors to stop what they are