Thursday, 6 July 2017

Exam Prep Techniques

Many years ago I was commissioned to meet an English lady CEO to explore the potential of securing a business deal in Dubai. She was head of a media group and possessed an authoritative personality that on first meeting gave me a sticker shock. When I reached her meeting base at the appointed hour I was not happy to see that she was on a podium with many visitors eager to meet her like me. It was a chaotic scene and reminiscent of a football match. I didn’t give up instead I shouted, “An inch of gold cannot buy an inch of time!” She shouted at everyone to become silent and all of a sudden the cacophony in a split second changed into jarred silence and she beckoned me to come on the podium. Everyone was watching with pin drop silence. Jennifer asked me to sit next to her and nonchalant she took out her little diary and pen and requested me to dictate that ancient Chinese proverb. When the dictation was over she asked me to wait in the adjoining chamber and joined me after half an hour. The rest was all business as usual and we developed a good association. The point I am endeavoring from this anecdote is that I planned out the meeting by minutely studying her personality from other sources. In other words I did my home work; I was prepared for the meeting.  This blog as the caption affixed above tells the reader is all about Exam Prep!

Life from cradle to grave is all about preparation for the challenges in our existential ladder. Exam is no exception and merits a careful study on how to be best prepared for exam. In one of her blogs .Dr Asma Naqi, head of BeMRCOG has poignantly stated that the time everyone starts a serious exam preparation is about 3-4 months before the exam. This fits neatly with the proverb I cried out to make a break through with Jennifer that Inch of Gold cannot buy an inch of time. Time lost is irrevocable. The first rule for all students for MRCOG Exam is to start ahead. Any delay will be fatal. Make no mistake; the smart student will plan out the time and make sure that no family and personal obligations fall in that period that may jeopardize the study program.
Health is critical in exam preparation and food and it stands to reason that  hygiene habits must be taken into account to ensure good health to cope with long hours study.
All notes, hand written, downloaded and in hard copy should be arranged such that retrieving the required information is accessible in shortest possible time. Research shows that carelessness in organizing study material results in time wastage and  consequently damaging to exam prep.

In this blog the prime focus is on MRCOG exam and it constitutes 3 exams namely part 1, 2 and 3. The first two are written and third is oral referred to as Clinical (formerly called OSCE). Let’s start with the third which is oral exam. First tip is that start preparation immediately passing the written exam. A delay will dampen the preparatory spirit. Try and figure what stations can come in the exam and write them down in your note book. The questions asked in English may be tedious if English is not your first language. Practice the sentences by jotting them down and rehearsal with a study buddy. It would help to brush up accent by watching BBC and classic movies repeatedly. Remember exam time is enough to think about the answer but not how to say it in English.  And equally importantly select the right books which you can find on Amazon.

Part 1 & 2 are both held in March and September. Part 2 is also known as written exam. The exam is split into two papers each of 50% mark. Each paper consists of two question formats:
Single best answer questions (SBAs) – worth 40% of the total mark
Extended matching questions (EMQs) – worth 60% of the total mark
Take out time in the outset of exam preparation to identify areas of challenge in light of all suggestions given above. This varies with students. Then decide is you would like to first tackle the areas you feel are more challenging or get a grip first on the sections you sense are easy.
Some people prefer to study in isolation while some have a natural propensity to team up with a study buddy. This is simply a matter of individual’s personality behavior so this shouldn’t become a debate.
One of key factors in a student’s success is the level of coaching he/she has received. Institutes around the world pride on the quality of their tutoring. Every student reading this blog will second my statement. Great leaders in history have accredited their mentors for morphing them into historical figures. Students preparing for MRCOG Exam deserve and need a motivating and inspiring mentor. Searching for a mentor that meets the needs of a student is same as finding the right books for exam prep. If you feel that you are in search of that Mentor which can empower you with all the skills to pass the exam and also to motivate and show the right road to a bright future by assessing your personal skills and personality, then I suggest strongly to log into .

Monday, 5 June 2017

How to enjoy work

Life is for work

Let’s face the fact that whether we like it or not: We have to work. Without work life would be robbed off its essence. Great and mundane thinkers alike are of the consensus that the prime reason for our presence on planet earth, unlike animals, is “Work”
The day we are sent to school we are prepared for a real world which demands work from us. This demand remains with us from cradle to grave. Work has been an intrinsic part of humans from dawn of prerecorded history till the present age and will continue till end of times. In fact, work is seen done by animals as well but that is beyond the scope of this blog. The object of this article is to discuss the correlated mood swings during the work period.

Categorization of Work

Work has broad meanings and different for different people. Work can be paid, unpaid, forced upon and taken on voluntary. It can involve mental or physical effort. But at any rate, as aforesaid, it’s the essence of our existence

Life without work

First of all what does it mean by, “The essence of existence?” This simply implies that life would lose its real meaning if one can live without work. Imagine you wake up to find by some miracle that all your living expenses are paid for without working for a living. Sounds like landing in a Utopia! But trust me the happiness will prove not only short lived but the privileged being will sooner or later degenerate into loner with nothing to expect of from life and may even contemplate suicide! A fruit consumed without labor has neither a value nor taste. Sociological studies have proved that winners of lotto Jack pots ended up tired of life within six months. Some ended up in rehab and most went back to work. The biographies of super rich reveals them engaged in work despite all the creature comforts they are endowed with. In fact, they instill the value of work in their children from an early age. The key to successful healthy life is work not accruement of money
Strange though it may sound, many slaves could not accept their new found freedom followed by change in laws in USA after civil war because as slaves they were guaranteed work!! To be in work as a slave is more rewarding then to be without work as freeman.

Students are Workers

Students aiming for a degree are also workers. They pursue work to empower themselves with a degree to compete in tightly competent Job market.
Many students experience frustration and subsequent depression during the course of their academic life. They deserve empathy and compassion and needless to say support in form of one to one counselling.

Tips for Work Anxiety

If the reader is suffering from work anxiety here are some tips.
Remember you are not the only one facing the challenge of working for a degree. With this in mind it should help the student to know that the hardships suffered are a shared suffering. Humans have a tendency to seek solace when they understand they are not alone. So this realization of being part of a community should help.

Enjoy your work

Keep in mind the axiom that only those get the best of their work that pursue it with a merry heart. If two farmers work on a same scale of plot , the one who enjoys work will yield a better crop than the one who works with a half heart.
It’s true that people are endowed with different level of intelligence. But that should not be source of discouragement. Studies have shown that students with average intelligence who demonstrated hard work with perseverance and consistency pays off better than the more intelligent ones.
Also an important factor: whilst working, do not worry about success. Do your best and leave the rest to God.

Work Smart Not Hard

Finally, work under a competent guidance is more organized and produces better results. At BeMRCOG that is what the mentor has proven herself as a keen mentor who has the knack of instilling workmanship in her students. She cascades her experiences effectively in her teaching skills which she has acquired over the decades through troubles and pains. Her maxim  is “Not hard but smart work” The testimonies of her students who  are living proof her dedication to making her students work smart and the impressive pass rates of BeMRCOG students is testament of her pedagogical ingenuity. To find out more and how Dr. Naqi’s experience can change your life please log on to:

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The challenge of Ethics for Doctors

Finding a Job as a Doctor 

Qualifying for a Doctor’s degree is a hard and long journey every doctor would be hard pressed to deny this. Specialising in a specific area like ENT, Gynecologist, Urologist etc. etc. is even harder. Finding a job in today’s cut throat competitive market is so tough that finding a job is itself a “Big Job!” Once all these challenges are successfully met comes the next BIG challenge “Sustaining the Job.”

Challenges in medical profession 

No Job is easy and all professions come with their set of unique challenges. Take for instance a bus driver. The driver has a huge responsibility on his/her shoulder to ensure safely transporting passengers to their destiny.  Same with an airline Pilot. The teacher is responsible for educating and grooming a future generation. The profession of medicine is no exception only that compared with most professions it has a longer list of challenges. The diagnose and prescription of correct medicine, the precision care taken in a surgery which does not admit of any negligence and the list goes on. The object of this blog is to consider the ethics involved in dealing with patients.

How to deal with patients from diverse backgrounds

Ethics is a set of moral principles. Whilst dealing with patients from diverse backgrounds, The Doctor on duty is under obligation to perform his professional services that conform to the highest moral principles. Practicing medicine is not limited to diagnosing and curing the patient. It’s also a great deal to do with moral support. Patients who report physical complications need affection and kindness. Let humans alone, even animals in pain demand moral support. The anecdote of Androcles and the lion is a moral lesson of “Do good have good” that has trickled down to us from ages and ingrained in human psyche.

Moral Duty of Doctor 

The legend of Florence of Nightingale is a testimony of human compassion and benevolence that lives on to this day. So from this we can safely conclude that the first moral duty of a doctor is to show unconditional compassion and kindness to patients. Love and kindness often proves more effective than medicines.

Challenges faced in patient care

While showing compassion and kindness is a flat rate gesture and, as I see it, does not entail any complications, there are cases which demand more than compassion and smile. These cases range from dealing with patients from different social /religious background wounded with psychological scars that merit extreme care in handling their situation.
Let me draw a case scenario. A house wife is shifted to hospital with wounds inflicted by an abusive husband. The husband is hiding and children are emotionally petrified at home. The wife is in physical and psychological agony.
In this sad and gripping scenario, the doctor has to provide for her physical and mental wounds. Should the doctor call the police? Should the doctor provide her personal counselling or first take her consent or seek help from someone whom he /she deems more competent? These and other questions need to be taken very seriously.
This is just one scenario with the intent to give an idea of how cases get complicated on account of social circumstances.
One problem a doctor can confront is dealing with a patient with different religious beliefs. The doctors and patients beliefs may be repugnant to each other. But the doctor has to demonstrate highest ultruism dealing with such cases in which patients social /religious beliefs are in conflict with that of the service provider.

Doctors ethical treatment 

The list of these challenging cases is endless and there are no easy solutions. But they are not impossible either. Here at BeMRCOG, the mentor Dr. Asma Naqi over the years has taken pain and trouble to master the art of providing patients treatment in ethical frame work.  She has a burning passion to help people in need and that helps to explain why she understands how to best handle patients ethically. To learn more please log on to:

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

BeMRCOG: The Untold Secret to Success

BeMRCOG: The Untold Secret to Success: Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary day, life gives us a fairy-tale. Writing something is not hard, but writing what y...

The Untold Secret to Success

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary day, life gives us a fairy-tale.

Writing something is not hard, but writing what you actually mean is a very hard job. It took me a while before I could decide whether or not to share this blog post. I wasn’t sure if I would find appropriate words to share this real life fairy-tale in which a busy doctor suddenly finds the invisible key to success.

I am in a habit of writing a reflective blog on the last day of every year; looking back critically, evaluating achievements & failures and setting a couple of new year’s resolutions. Reflecting back on 2016 turned out to be a fairy tale when I suddenly discovered the secret to success & happiness.

2016 was a set of 365 transformational days in every area of my life. As you are reading this blog on BeMRCOG platform, so let’s use this aspect as an example to take you through my fairy-tale discovery. Here are the snippets of some achievements in 2016:

  • My little baby BeMRCOG grew up from a website to a UK-based organisation when it got registered as a limited company.
  • This generated a new dimension to my personal growth when I took over as the Managing Director of the company, while remaining the Founder of Website and the Mentor of BeMRCOG courses.
  • BeMRCOG courses got CPD accredited, a massive credibility! (The only other accredited course for MRCOG exam preparation is StratOG).
  • We established ‘Student Support Services’ and ‘Quality Assurance’ along with other departments, to add a lot more value to our existing services.
  • I started live events in the form of online workshops and intensive courses, enabling many students to get a high quality evidence-based learning experience right from the comfort of their home, on a very affordable cost.
  • The convenience and quality of these live events boosted the pass rate of written exam up to 80%, which is a very high rate for non-UK based candidates as compared to an average of 30-40%.
  • MRCOG part 3 course was created and launched keeping in lines with the new exam pattern. I am proud to continue being the ONLY provider of a comprehensive course that teaches OSCE skills in fine details, in contrast to the traditional mock circuit practice courses.

The list of ‘achievements’ was jaw dropping and I was forced to think of the factors behind this success. I have not listed these achievements to blow my own horn, but to take you with me through the thought process that led to the discovery.

Some of you might be thinking at this point that I might be a very career oriented woman so what’s the big deal if I achieved all of this in one year. Ironically, and as a matter of fact, I am neither a career woman nor did I make grandiose plans to be where I am today. It has been like a snowball right from the time I started these courses as a small home-based study group sitting around my dining table, to this point where it is converted into an internationally renowned organisation in just 5 years.

So, then how did this happen?

Was it hard work?
Yes, possibly so. I am a workaholic and I literally get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t do anything productive for more than 5 minutes.

Could it be good planning?
My understanding of good planning = details + organisation. I am a detail-oriented person and like to be very organised. Name anything, be it my thoughts, my drawers, my desk, my shelf, my files, my folders; I am organised to fine details of everything.

How about a positive attitude?
Hmmm, sounds quite possible. I simply don’t know any other attitude but a positive one, even towards the most devastating situations.

Does Innovation count?
Monotony is static, what is static is dead. I cannot be dead while I am alive. So yeah, innovation goes without saying.

Are you forgetting Passion?
Yessss, it must be passion. Passion must be the secret behind all the above mentioned factors and hence the secret behind success.

To me the word achievement is interchangeable with success. Success brings happiness. Yayy, I found the key to happiness and success. Passion is the key. But hey, wait a minute. I have passion for what I do here at BeMRCOG, but my success and happiness is not limited to this platform. The pattern remains the same in every area of my life. Then what is it?

You might be thinking that I am just lucky and have never had failures, disappointments and difficulties in my life. Trust me, I am not bullet proof. I have sustained many hard blows, even in this last year 2016, but I’ve always survived though every bullet without ever losing a grain of enthusiasm. It has to be something more than passion. Something … that does not let me feel failed, disappointed and discouraged. Something that makes me step out of my comfort zone and thrive even in the most unfavourable conditions. It has to be something that operates behind everything I do in life and passion is perhaps just one of them. It has to be the driving force behind my passion. What is the driving force behind my passion?

And in the quest of the key behind success, I went on and on …. & on…. until I made the most interesting discovery of my life – THE DRIVING FORCE! The force that operates behind everything I do from the moment I wake up till I exhaust back to sleep. In my case, this driving force is ‘giving’. I am a very giving person by nature, I love to give whatever I could to anyone who crosses my path. Although, I have been misused, misunderstood, misinterpreted and mistreated because of this nature; but instead of reacting against my nature, I learned how to modify my ways of giving. The same force operates behind my passion as a teacher – giving. When this is what brings me happiness, everything else goes in the background, and in the grand scheme of things I end up being surrounded with achievements/success/happiness. Now scroll back and look again at the list of achievements and I’m sure you will not miss to see the invisible ‘driving force’ in action behind each one of them.

The bottom line of my fairy-tale is: Sky used to be the limit, now it’s my point of view. Do you want to change your point of view? If yes, then discover your driving force and live happily ever after. ☺

Dr. Asma Naqi