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Editor,—The review by Skinner et alof the organisation of the paediatric MRCP (UK) part II examination1 gives insufficient recognition to the role of nurses, medical secretaries, and play therapists, who are at least as important as the registrar and host examiner. Our secretaries typed letters of invitation, summaries, and thank you letters and helped contact and fielded inquiries from parents. Much of this had to be completed on top of their NHS workload. Nursing staff set up the venue, collected equipment, provided refreshments, and made up name badges. At our centre, each candidate is shadowed by a nurse helper who ensures that they fill out the correct paperwork, directs them around the venue, finds them refreshment between sections of the examination, and provides support when a case or viva has gone badly. Examiners and candidates commented favourably on this system, and many candidates show their appreciation by contacting their nurse helper when they pass! Our play therapist was the key to occupying the children during the long periods of waiting required, and in making the examination an enjoyable experience for parents and children.
These staff give generously of their time with none of the professional kudos gained by the registrar. Their commitment is vital for a successful examination.