Flicking the switch on the AKT & KFP

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AKT and KFP study plan Last five years of Check, AFP and Murtagh read back to back three times.      NO!  NO!  NO!

Unfortunately I hear this preparation method all the time.   The regurgitation of clinical knowledge is unfortunately not the key to competence as a GP – if this was so, then a robot could wrote learn the texts and pass the exams……..

Imagine learning as a circuit board.   Wrote learning looks like this:

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But the way we need to learn and think as GPs is like this:

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In a simple circuit, we read the books to ensure the batteries are charged, we flick the switch, discharge the battery, and then there is light.   This is OK if you know where and when you will need the light, how full the battery is, and how long it will last.

Medicine is not like this.  Medicine is a complex circuit.   We cannot be confident with the vastness of GP knowledge that our batteries are always full.  Sometimes we are not sure where to shine the light, and even the size and shape of the room we are trying to illuminate?

There is a famous quote by Edgar Dale  which may help to explain this a little better:

We REMEMBER:

  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what we discuss with others
  • 80% of what we personally experience
  • 95% of what we teach others

There are some great tools that you will assist you to integrate your learning and thinking:  IM Reasoning and The Human Diagnosis Project.  These sites are free clinical reasoning resources which will help in the rewiring process.  If you’d like an extra challenge, try Random Case Analysis, which is great for exploring the five domains of General Practice.

So learning the simple circuit is not enough.    We need to find ways to multi-learn.  The best preparation for the written exams is unpacking your thinking, breaking down the circuits, and explaining it to others.   Embrace situations to challenge your learning – find a coach, join a study group, reflect daily on your patient encounters with colleagues.  Don’t stay in the dark – try some new techniques so that you can find the weaknesses in your learning design, and discover the parts of the room that your light won’t reach.

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