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    Hi everyone,

    Just looking for a bit of advice. I sat the PSA at beginning of Feb and just found out I failed. It was only by a few marks, I got 64%, but it's really knocked my confidence going into finals. I'm feeling a bit like if I can't pass a prescribing exam which is supposed to be set at the level of an F1 and realistically be quite easy, how am I going to pass finals, and even if I manage to scrape through how am I going to be a good doctor.

    I found the exam really hard, nothing like the practise when I was getting really high scores and even though other people found it hard too they seemed to pass really well. I haven't failed an exam since A levels and I guess I now feel really out of my depth, stupid and like I don't deserve to be a final year student. I know lots of people fail exams and I have luckily managed to scrape through so far, but I am probably one of the lower performing students in my med school and the fact that I've failed an exam so close to finals has just really effected me.

    Anyway, just wanted a bit of advice, maybe how to get my confidence back up, so hope someone can help
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    I think that PSA exam needs some tweaking to be a fair representation of our prescribing abilities. I understand the questions we get vary between medical schools (our pass mark was 62%), but I certainly agree that it's not an easy examination and is probably one of the most time pressured examinations I have ever sat.
    All the evidence you need to prove to yourself that you're good enough to be a doctor is that you've got through the last 4 years of medical school. Lots of people fail exams at some point (myself included) but that doesn't mean we're not going to be good doctors.
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    I failed an exam last year. It happens. You need to put it behind you and face the road ahead. You haven't got to the stage you are at by luck. Nobody is that lucky. The evidence is clear, you have what it takes. I believe in myself completely, I will pass my finals and so will you.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Just looking for a bit of advice. I sat the PSA at beginning of Feb and just found out I failed. It was only by a few marks, I got 64%, but it's really knocked my confidence going into finals.
    The only exam I think I ever failed was the prescribing assessment in my final year of medical school, which was some kind of pilot for the PSA. As it happened, the medical school said they had no plan for what to do with those that failed as they thought they'd set the bar so low that this wouldn't be an issue... Four of us failed and were allowed to progress after a resit.

    In real life prescribing is something you learn on the job. You will make mistakes, although hopefully the nurse or ward pharmacist will spot them before any harm is done!

    Anyway... try to relax. It's never nice to fail an assessment but this really doesn't say anything about your suitability to be a good FY1.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I haven't failed an exam since A levels and I guess I now feel really out of my depth, stupid and like I don't deserve to be a final year student.
    It's one exam, and hardly actually representative of what you need to know as an F1. Part of the problem is the bit of your post I've quoted - medics tend not to have ever failed anything, so we lack experience in knowing what this feels like! It's not something to take too much to heart - if you didn't deserve to be a finalist, you wouldn't be one.

    Bear in mind that all you really need is the simple stuff - beyond that, your seniors/ the pharmacist will know.
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    Thank you so much for everyone's replies, you have all really helped me. I think Becca-Sarah hit the nail on the head, I just didn't know how to deal with failing.

    I am feeling a lot more positive now. Like you all say, prescribing is not going to be something I need to be an expert at right now, and am sure it will be easier to learn when I'm doing it everyday. Just because I failed this doesn't mean I will fail finals and doesn't mean I won't be a good doctor I've got the resit planned and am going to focus on finals and see it as a learning curve Thank you again for your positive words, they helped a lot.
 
 
 
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