Consultant rheumatologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough and tutor on the Masters in Clinical Education course, Newcastle University
PACES examiners: in their words - Dr Fiona Clarke
Like many examiners, I took up the role of PACES examiner with encouragement from a colleague, who knew about my interest in education. Five years on, I still find the work rewarding.
It’s a team effort and I enjoy working with the other examiners, registrars, administrators, patients and surrogates. There’s a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction in helping to enable the college in its important role in maintaining standards.
In addition, I am motivated by the knowledge that I am helping to raise the profile of women in the profession. Despite the numbers of women in medicine – and the fact that female students are now the majority in medical schools – the majority of examiners are still men. I would particularly encourage women to consider this role.
As far as fitting the work into a busy schedule is concerned, it is not always easy, but every year examining takes only between two and four days of my time. Additionally I have also hosted the exam on several occasions. Although this does take more time, it is an equally rewarding experience, and I think hosting the exam is suited to physicians who have the ability to remain calm, have good organisational skills and attention to detail.