1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University 1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University Institute of Pathology
jdusk 09.02.2016

How to increase the probability of successfully passing the pathology exam?

Prior to the exam


· Continuous study and participation in the lectures and practices – no retroactivity

· Reading the material three times at least: the first slow– with an effort to understand, the second faster – as it is not entirely new at this point- the third the quickest- large blocks of content with understanding of the relationships

· Learn to understand and use the special terms and their context: students frequently either neglect the special terms or use some of them without deriving the information contained (like multiple sclerosis)

· Do not rely on a lucky choice of topics you have mastered. The knowledge represents a network, any substantial gap will be discovered with certainty by any examiner

· Do not use cognitive drugs, better to assure yourself of a good night's sleep close to the day of examination


On the exam day

· Do not forget to have your breakfast

· The exam is a social event, your dress should be different from what you would wear to a swimming pool

· Nice behaviour expected as a norm

· Food and drinks are to be consumed during the waiting time: it does not produce the best impression if in a preparation period the student first starts to prepare the large bottle of water and soon after the questions selection requires a visit to the toilet. Most examiners solve this situation with a new selection of questions, but this does not create a positive atmosphere. The examination itself does not last longer than one hour (15 minutes preparation, 30 minutes official examination time for one student defined by the dean's office). Please realize whether doing a surgery, delivery or patients examination you will start with serving your own metabolism…

· Do not try to change the order of questions (starting with general pathology…) it is obvious that if you hesitate to start with the first question you do not know it well….

· Do not try to move the examiner with the statements that you are nervous, jittery, you have a blackout etc… your patient does not expect this. If your nerves are such that week that you do not stand something so free of danger to your life like a pathology exam is, you should study for another profession

· DO NOT TRY TO CHEAT. The examiners are aware of the pathology exam being a demanding and extensive subject and will be helpful at maximum. In the case where a cheating attempt is discovered, the examination will be immediately terminated. The medical profession requires maximum personal and team input but no fraud.


To the exam questions chosen


· If the question is a term, start with the definition (e.g. Amyloidosis). If it is a topic (e.g. Uterine body neoplasms) start with the definition + classification, list of representatives. Then focus on the most important-frequent ones.

· In any disease you describe:

· DEFINITION (from the point of formal logic this means to order under the higher category and to separate from the parallel ones) – in medicine frequently differential diagnosis is to be addressed. Here also the cause(s) of the disease are mentioned.

· incidence – age/sex predisposition

· the dominant clinical feature – no details here- this will be taught later by the clinical specialists- just the symptom motivating the patient to visit the doctor

· morphology MACROSCOPY mainly; microscopy very limited only if decisive for understanding the disease

· course of the disease – common- prognosis

· way of healing




Success in your pathology examination and even more in using the knowledge acquired in your future practice is the wish of:

prof. Dušková.


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