RSS feeds provide an easy way to get constant updates on new information. To ensure you have access to the latest information, RSS feeds are the preferred option. The following feeds are available - click on the 'RSS' icon to subscribe:
It is very likely that I will move to using RSS for most site updates as the mailing list is so full of old email addresses that it's becoming cumbersome to administer. Additionally, all the most recent updates will automatically be given priority on the homepage.
The URL for the course updates RSS feed is below. In the meantime, you can still subscribe to the list but I would suggest using one of the freely available feedreaders that are available.
To receive information about new, or updated OSCEs, please subscribe to the mailing list:
Many people appear to subscribe and unsubscribe in rapid succession. Please note that entering your email address in the box below and clicking on the button will remove your name from the list.
You also have the opportunity to unsubscribe by following the link in each message posting. Please note that the link in each message is the unsubscribe link, and won't take you to any OSCEs!
If you have unsubscribed accidentally, simply re-subscribe (by re-entering your email address in the 'subscribe' box above) and you will be added back to the list automatically.
Last Updated on Saturday, 24 August 2013 11:03
Trickcyclists.co.uk is a free resource for psychiatry trainees who are studying for their membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The site offers notes for the exams, advice on the Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies (CASC) Exam, more OSCEs than any other web resource, MCQs, PMPs, and the most complete listing of MRCPsych courses on the web.
'Trickcyclists' is a (American) euphemism for psychiatrists. It seems that it isn't particularly common in the UK (not many people have heard of it), but hey, I liked the name so decided to stick with it.
No, it's a labour of love. The site is not supported by any kind of external sponsorship whatsoever. I don't have a merchanising line to support my endeavours, so I rely on positive feedback from people who have found the site useful.
For a number of reasons:
No, not with the examinations side of things. I am an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland and I'm also the Academic Co-Secretary of the Faculty of General Adult Psychiatry. Like most psychiatrists, I pay my College subscriptions for the privilege of using the initials 'MRCPsych' but that's it.
I have sat OSCE exams as part of my undergraduate training (!). I have taught using OSCEs on our local postgraduate training scheme, and we use the OSCE format extensively for our trainees. I also help examine undergraduates at Dundee using the OSCE, and have been a site supervisor for the OSCE examinations. I have also taken part in the PREP Dublin OSCE course (now defunct).
As far as I can tell, no. The college have elected to use a much less objective marking scheme where candidates are graded A-E. Purists will argue that this is not really an OSCE, since a valuable degree of objectivity is lost. The pass mark for the overall MRCPsych OSCE or each station is as transparent as thick mud, and although the marks are weighted, even the examiners don't know how the weighting is calculated.
The format used on the site is closer to that used by North American colleges. It is truly objective in the sense that if you perform a specific task, you get a mark (or two). It is possible to calculate the pass mark for each station, as well as the overall pass mark for the OSCE exam. How this is done is on the page about organising local exams.
From speaking to examiners, the Royal College continues to use 'normative-based' assessment (NBA), whereby a specific number of candidates will pass depending on the overall performance of the whole. This means that around 80% (or whatever the figure is) are going to pass whatever. Cynics would argue that this is essential in order for the Royal College to maintain their revenue stream from the exams.
The shift in assessment in recent years has been towards 'criterion-based' assessment (CBA) where candidates are marked according to whether they meet specific criteria which have been agreed beforehand. You can get an overview of the differences between the two at this page at the University of Toronto. This is arguably a much fairer way of determining the skills of the candidates. You could score 95% on the exam under NBA and still fail if 80% of people get 98%. The College really have to sort this out, in my humble opinion.
Examiners have intimated that the Royal College is looking into how the OSCEs are marked, and to be fair, they are endeavouring to introduce a new format to the exam system. Hopefully, in a few years time all of these teething problems and inconsistencies will have been resolved.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:49
"While we are committed to accessibility, we are aware, and regret, that the website does not comply with many WCAG/508 requirements, nor does it currently validate with XHTML 1.0 Transitional. The site is Joomla based, and as such, will be compliant when Joomla meets requirements."
The Joomla Accessibility Statement has more information.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 17:13
The following information is recorded automatically by the server, but note that the information cannot identify you personally:
An excerpt from the log is as follows:
127.0.0.1 - - [17/Jul/2002:23:55:02 +0200] "GET /trickcyclists/index.htm HTTP/1.1" 301 253 www.mindmelt.co.uk "http://www.trickcyclists.co.uk/index.htm" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; tiscali)" "-"
Only the webmaster (David Christmas) has access to this information and it is used for site development and determining usage.
By subscribing to the mailing list, you agree to allowing Trickcyclists.co.uk (David Christmas) storing your email address, and sending you emails about updates to the site, and information about new or updated OSCE questions. The mailing list runs as a script on the server and email addresses are held on the server. Backups of the subscriber list are made periodically. A username and password is required to access this information.
Any subscription to the mailing list can be cancelled at any time (every message contains an opt-out link), and your email address will be deleted from the list automatically. It will not be retained for any reason after you have unsubscribed.
WE DO NOT SELL, TRADE, EXCHANGE OR OTHERWISE MAKE AVAILABLE ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION (e.g. EMAIL ADDRESS) TO ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL, COMPANY, OR ORGANISATION. PERIOD.
For any questions or queries regarding this policy, please contact me.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 17:02
By reading, and using these MRCPsych notes, excerpts from the British National Formulary, OSCE questions, MCQs, and software, you acknowledge that:
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 00:12
Usage of any content from this site implies that you have read, and agree to abide with, these Terms and Conditions.
Please note that because you can use this material for the specific uses outlined above, it is not Public Domain.
If you are in any doubt about what you can and can't do, please email me.
Since the quality of the OSCEs, and notes depends on feedback, you are kindly asked to send feedback to the author if you are using any of the material from the website.
All material, unless indicated otherwise, is Copyright © 2013 by David Christmas. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 00:15