The final exams for Stage 5 of my MBBS course at NUMed consist of WriSkE, SBA and End of Stage MOSLER. To pass Stage 5, students need to pass all three assessments. On 13 June 2019, the final results for Stage 5 was released. I passed the WriSkE and SBA, but unfortunately, I failed the End of Stage MOSLER, which meant that I had failed Stage 5 of MBBS.
The MOSLER is a clinical assessment where we have to see real patients. The MOSLER has 6 domains of assessment which are Information Gathering, Technical & Procedural Skills, Communication Skills, Clinical & Diagnostic Reasoning, Management, and Professional Behaviour. There are in-course MOSLER's throughout Stage 3 and Stage 5 as well as an End of Stage MOSLER at the end of Stage 5.
Here, I would like to share my thoughts on my failure in Stage 5 of MBBS.
To be honest, before I entered Stage 5, I wasn't confident of being able to pass it in my first attempt. My greatest worry was failing the MOSLER's. Back in Stage 3, I faced great difficulties with the in-course MOSLER's, failing the Clinical & Diagnostic Reasoning domain twice, and disastrously failing all domains of the Women's Health MOSLER.
Although I then passed Stage 4 without significant difficulties, that was because there are no MOSLER's in Stage 4. I knew my underlying weakness with the MOSLER's was still there, and that it would be a problem for me during Stage 5. With the addition of the Management domain, the MOSLER's in Stage 5 would be even more difficult than in Stage 3.
However, after I got into Stage 5, I realised that it is actually not as difficult as what I had expected. Stage 5 is basically a revision of the Stage 3 curriculum, plus some new things. I still remembered what I learnt in Stage 3 fairly well, and I felt that I actually understand everything much better when learning them a second time.
Therefore, I soon became quite confident of passing Stage 5. As it turned out, I didn't face much difficulties with the in-course MOSLER's in Stage 5. I managed to pass all domains of the Women's Health MOSLER this time, and the lecturer was impressed with my improvement. Although I still didn't get a perfect result in all in-course MOSLER's, I never failed any domain more than once.
After completing the final exams, I was very sure that I had passed Stage 5, and I wasn't quite worried about the release of the results. Therefore, it definitely came as a shock to me when I found out that I failed the End of Stage MOSLER. After all the confidence I had throughout Stage 5, it turns out that the worries I had before entering Stage 5 actually materialised.
I initially planned to appeal my MOSLER results. However, after reading the feedback written by the examiners, I realised there is no grounds for an appeal, as the feedback clearly corresponds to the marks I got for each station. Besides, there has never been a case in NUMed where an appeal of exam results is successful. Therefore, I gave up on the appeal.
The issue about failing Stage 5 is that we must repeat the entire year and take all assessments again, as NUMed doesn't allow us to just resit the failed assessments in August like for Stage 1, 2 and 4. Most students don't like the idea of having to spend another year studying for the MBBS degree and they prefer to be given the opportunity to resit in August.
But for me, while I think repeating the year isn't ideal, I actually prefer it over resitting the MOSLER in August. This is because repeating the year gives a substantially higher chance of passing compared to resitting in August. It is definitely important to maximise the chance of passing as failing a second time will result in dropping out of MBBS.
If we resit in August, we have only about 2 months to revise everything and also improve on our weakness, which is definitely very challenging and risky. Meanwhile by repeating Stage 5, we have an entire year's time, and we are taught everything again. It isn't uncommon for students to fail again after resitting in August, while most students improve a lot after repeating the year.
As I have mentioned in my previous post, the main cause of my failure is my method of studying. Other possible causes are overconfidence and lack of clinical skills practice. I had some relationship issues in the months leading up to the final exams, which also contributed to my failure in the MOSLER.
I never looked forward to graduation. I have been together with my friends in NUMed for so long. As an emotional person, having to separate with them after graduating definitely makes me feel very sad. Now that I failed Stage 5, I am not graduating this year, but it doesn't make much of a difference, as I still have to separate with most of my friends.
This is the first time where I failed a year in the MBBS course. I definitely consider Stage 5 to be the most difficult year. Despite that, the course content of Stage 5 have been very interesting. For the repeat year of Stage 5, I hope I will have a much better experience. I won't hate NUMed for failing me, and I will never regret my decision to study MBBS at NUMed.