I really thought I knew about U/S and the Doppler Effect - I could have written a short answer question on it. But when someone said to me this week: "Tell me about the Doppler effect", odd words and incomplete sentences came out of my mouth in the wrong order. Then I confused myself and then my brain-to-mouth interface stopped working altogether.
This precisely demonstrates the need to practice speaking and being viva'd. You may know a subject inside out, but it is the ability to convey this information clearly and succinctly in an ordered manner to the examiners which is a lot harder than it would appear.
My aim this week has been to get a viva a day from the consultant I have been working with. I've not done badly, especially on Wednesday when I was doing plastics (8hr TRAM flap) - I got three vivas! You need the consultants (or registrars) to be harsh on you - to really push you - and that's what they did. At times I felt like a real amateur (not like someone ready to be admitted as a Fellow to the RCOA) - I was nervous, I forgot basic knowledge and my clinical answers were unstructured. But I learnt a lot!
The topics I have been viva'd on this week include:
-Haemorrhage / Hypovolaemia
-Nausea & Vomiting
-Subarachnoid Haemorrhage / Anaesthesia in Angio Suite
-Alveolar Gas Equation / ABGs from severe asthmatic
-Doppler / U/S
-PDPH/Epidural Blood Patch