Ah yes. The volunteer PCC sessions which begin in 2nd year designed to help us manage difficult scenarios.

Actors adopt a persona and watch as the student struggles to take a medical history or even gain consent. Of course, it’s a great learning experience… but sometimes… SOMETIMES... I think they exaggerate their roles. Slightly.

Scene: Med School North: 2.40pm

Your group sits down around the table, wondering who will go first.

The tutor asks someone to be the DA runner. The smart one puts their hand up – they won’t be going first.

Everyone else looks around nervously until the silence is broken when the tutor decides to go around in a circle.

Thankfully you are third to go. The anxiety fades… only to enter the student going first.

The patient enters. Your group member offers to take their bags but is aggressively rejected… Uh oh.

She needs to establish rapport – “So how was your day?”.


 “Good, until I saw you.”

Then like a SS diamond on low RPM and no finger rest, all control is lost.

*Actor goes off script. He starts to ramble on, obviously aiming to never progress the interview. But your group member reels him back in.

Ha! Good job! You’ve caught him off guard!

*Actor improvises a heart disease with multiple medications and says he was diagnosed yesterday.

…Your colleagues face screams “time out” but they hold on. You hold back the tears, unable to watch anymore.

The iPhone timer goes off – the most beautiful of tunes.

Feedback on the performance is given. You back up your member by commenting that the patient was very difficult.

“But a patient like me can show up.”  - God help us.

Well to those who have yet to do it my advice to you -


Even if you feel your eyes twitching

Even when you are on the verge of cracking.

Even if all you can see is the patients mouth moving with no sound coming out.


Maybe it’s just me.



How nostalgic - this is from the 2015 Probe.



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