Examinations loom large in the minds of trainees. Rightly, trainees see passing the MRCPsych as official confirmation that they have successfully concluded their period of general professional training and may now advance to higher training and, almost inevitably, to Consultant status. They may assume, and in this the College does nothing to dissuade them, that they have been tested in the skills needed to practise psychiatry. Enumeration of such facts as are to be enumerated and the observation of external behaviour stand high in the lexicon of success. Listening and understanding, tolerance and compassion are also-runs. The examination does not merely reflect the form of the training but dictates the order of priorities. What the exam values, the trainee values. What the exam ignores, the trainee, unless strongly motivated, will be tempted to ignore.
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