After a month reading John Murtagh's for the second time, (I read this book for my AMC-MCQ preparation in the previous year), I was invited to an NZREX vibre group, which changed my journey into a success story. This vibre group connects some doctors who have passed NZREX and who are still preparing for the exam, to share experience and help each other to pass the exam. There are also regular classes organised through this group to discuss common cases in NZREX. I met some wonderful people in this group and joined a smaller study group which I think is crucial for anyone preparing for NZREX. (Please leave me a message if you want me to invite you to this group).
I started in a study group of three, which later grew to six people and we met two times a week for role-play. I enjoyed practising with this group and learned a lot from more senior doctors in our group and from those who have more experience about NZREX it self. However, after a few weeks I felt that the study pace was not suitable for me, since I was very new to the exam format and need more repetition than the others. Apart from that, I also started an observer-ship in a GP clinic, that made me so busy and I felt tired during the practice time. After a lot of consideration, I decided to take a break from the study group.
In April 2016 I met a surgeon from Fiji that was also sitting her NZREX in November 2016, so we decided to be study buddies. I organised our study plan for the next few months and aimed to finish a month before our exam.
My study plan
- 1 month of reading John Murtagh
- 5 weeks history taking practice (aim to finish in 8min/case)
- 2 weeks counseling practice (aim to finish in 8 min/case)
- 2 weeks physical exm practice (aim to finish in 8 min/case)
- 6 weeks of systematic study
- Random cases as long as possible
- Mock exam (4 weeks before the exam)
- continue with random cases
We met twice a week during history taking practice, and three times a week for physical examination and counceling, and only on Saturday during the systematic study.
I was delighted to receive my result at the end of Novenber and to know that my study buddy also passed the exam. At the moment, I am tutoring another doctor to help her to pass the exam.
Insight to NZREX
NZREX is an OSCE, it is similar to all other OSCE but somehow also very different. It is designed to test wheather you are ready to work in New Zealand as a house officer. Some overseas graduates found it very difficult, as they are not familiar with NZ medical system and culture.
You can practice OSCE like you are preparing for AMC clinical or USMLE step 2 CS, since the cases are quite similar. However, do familiarise your self with the NZREX format and with New Zealand culture since in NZREX the way you communicate with patients is very important. I found that doing an observer-ship is the most effective way to get insight to NZ cultur and to polish-up your communication skills.
The exam consists of 16 stations: four history taking stations, four counceling stations, four physical examination and four static stations. Since 2015 there are some integrated stations included in the exam, which means you need to prepare to perform a focus history taking, focus physical exam and conseling in one station. Time management is key to successfully completing these stations.
Time allocated for each station is 10 minutes with two minutes reading time in between stations. There is a 15 minutes toilet break after the 8th station, and drinking water is provided in static stations without extra time for water break. (More information about the exam format can be found on MCNZ website).
The only way to pass this exam is to prepare well. The preparation time required will depend on your medical knowledge, your communication skills and how familiar yourself to New Zealand medical system. (read a more complete tips for NZREX here).
Thank you for reading my blog, I wish you well with your preparation. Do share your experiences, I would be happy to read them. If you want me to write in more detail about NZREX please let me know by writing a comment below.
Check out the list of high yield cases in NZREX history taking stations here.
Hi, thank you for your interest to my story. Since I have been too busy lately it take me longer to reply to your comment. So I wrote some of the most common questions here please check it out.
Please also read some comments attached to this post as your questions might have been answered there. I will try to reply to all your messages and emails, but may take me some time before I able to.
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