VAQ 4 Answer

“Finally” I hear you shout… Sorry for the delay, been tied up with a baby who’s not sleeping properly, a toddler in the “terrible two’s”, as well as general work/life kerfuffle, and training for a mountain bike marathon… as well as sourcing some sub-sepcialty input into the answer, which took me a while to decipher!

Anyway, here it is, the answer to VAQ 4. It’s relatively straightforward, but you can score higher marks by knowing your stuff (including the differentials), combining your responses to some of the parameters so you’re more succinct and ordered, and adding some “fluffy bunnies” at the end.

Big shout out to my Haem/Onc colleagues Debbie Handolias and Meilta Kenealy for their valuable input into the answer.

2 Responses to VAQ 4 Answer

  1. Andy B November 16, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I would agree with most of the answers (has commenting been disabled?) but I would also make a few other points

    – this is a pancytopaenia (neutropaenia counts, doesn’t have to be total WCC)

    – I personally wouldn’t give more than a passing mention (if any) to the management / breaking bad news given the wording of the question. Describe and interpret has a very specific meaning and does not include management. Putting that psychosocial stuff in is great for some questions, but I would be very particular about not putting answers that haven’t been asked (not entirely true – I think a one or two phrase section might be worthwhile to mitigate the odd examiner who doesn’t follow college guidelines) but time in the exam is very limited and padding out answers with unasked detail is something I would be very careful of.

  2. Andy B November 16, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks Duncan
    You are quite correct, I did stray from the definition of “describe & interpret”, so thanks for picking that up. I was focusing on the interpretation a bit too much, and got distracted (did I mention the ranting toddler at home…) so that’s a good lesson to not get sidetracked and “answer the question”!

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