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  • Dr T. Sami

What YOU Need To Understand for the RCA

There are significant differences between real-life consultations, CSA consultations and RCA consultations:

• Real patients do not adhere to a 10–12-minute consultation time limit, whilst CSA actors are calibrated for this, and the RCA demands it

• Real patients do not follow a script, whilst CSA actors do

• Real patients often provide more expansive (and perhaps less relevant material) when answering questions, and to meet a 12-minute deadline you need strategies to move them along

• Real patients can have technical issues when doing remote consultations, which adds to the challenge.


Each successful consultation is essentially linear. A clear direct history of a problem can be assessed whilst communicating effectively and empathetically, concluding in an effective, agreed management plan. That is the benchmark. Candidates are chasing the perfect consultation – of course, this is ideal but far from easy in practice.


Buy The Essential Guide to the RCA for the MRCGP

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