There are two types of stations in the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II: five-minute couplet stations and ten-minute stations.
The five-minute couplet stations involve a five-minute clinical encounter and a five-minute encounter probe.
Five-minute clinical encounter: The candidate may be instructed to obtain a focused relevant history or conduct a focused physical examination while being observed by a physician examiner who assesses the candidate's performance using standardized scoring instruments.
Five-minute encounter probe: Each clinical encounter station is paired with a five-minute station called the encounter probe where the candidate will, for example, perform some of the following tasks:
The Medical Council of Canada has noted a common error that candidates make on post-encounter written questions. If a written question reads, “List 3 factors that will determine this patient’s prognosis” or something similar, the key words to note are “3” and “this patient”. The candidate’s answer must be based on the information gathered from the patient. Generic answers relevant to the diagnosis but not relevant to the patient will not be given credit, nor will extra answers.
You can take a look at a history-taking example of a couplet station and an example of a physical examination couplet station. Both of these examples include the candidate’s instructions, the examiner’s checklist, and the post-encounter questions (with the correct answers).
The ten-minute stations assess the candidate's ability to obtain a history and/or conduct a physical examination, to demonstrate interviewing and communication skills and/or to apply management skills.
These stations are structured for the candidate to interact with the standardized patient for ten minutes. In some cases, the clinical encounter ends at nine minutes and is followed by a one-minute oral examination. The physician examiner may ask one to three pre-specified questions related to the patient problem. For all stations, the physician examiners observe the encounter and use standardized scoring instrument(s) to assess each candidate's performance.
You can take a look at the following ten-minute stations examples: