Clinical governance-your worst bug bear or your best buddy?

Working through my Part 3 preparation, the one topic which I found difficult to understand was Clinical Governance. Not just because it was a whole new concept, but also because it was just too strange to come in terms with. As adult learners we understand those concepts we practice in our day to day life better than something encountered for the first time. Most overseas candidates would agree with me in no uncertain terms, that health care systems in our parent countries do not have Clinical Governance ingrained in them. This has indeed made the process of understanding and answering questions based on Clinical Governance a Herculean task.

Now here is the question pertinent to the crux of our discussion-What is Clinical Governance?

Simply put in lay man’s terms, it is ‘Continuously improving quality of health care services in order to give high standards of care for our patients.

Why is this important?

Clinical mishaps happen because we are flawed and imperfect as human beings. But the idea of reviewing and reflecting on our actions at a different time, place and company might make us take those necessary steps to avoid adverse events from happening time and again. But that is not all—individuals or teams must work within an organization that is accountable for their actions, values its staff (appraises and develops them), minimizes risks, and learns from good practice, and indeed mistakes.

How to come in terms with it?

I must admit there is no easy way around this topic. The one way you can get an upper hand is through extensive reading. Stratog is a good place to start with. Attending live sessions with us not just gives you a first-hand experience but would also enable you to fire away your questions and get it sorted out at the same time. Practice until you feel like it is your second skin.

Even with the best of your preparation, you might be thrown off your ground by a very strange station in your exams. But remember two things.

  1. If it is difficult for you, it will be so for other candidates too.
  2. No matter how varied these questions are, the underlying principle will be the same.

I know for a fact that the moment I saw an offbeat question, I could hear my inner voice say’ I’m done! Goodbye MRCOG!’. But hang on there, every cloud has a silver lining. I taught myself to ‘stop, step back, and surmise-do the next best right thing, however small it might seem’. There will be some loose thread you can hang on to-somewhere you can start and slowly gain your momentum. Your best performance will only depend on your weakest moment.

Final piece of advice

Practice like there is no tomorrow. Read and reflect on as many MRCOG books as you can get your hands on. Discuss your doubts with us. We will share our knowledge and provide you with references where possible. Sometimes, it might not be the perfect answer, but it will be the next best thing.

Rise to the challenge, work like there is no tomorrow, stand tall, and make your mark.

Remember, the winner takes it all!

Happy Learning!

Dr.Akshatha Kulkarni