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A lot of people who got interviews last year said they just winged it and answered honestly. Many people also looked over a case or two in Doing Right. I wouldn't worry too much about preparing for it...it's not meant to be something you can prepare for! :)

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I would have to slightly disagree with proton. Although I agree that honesty in your answers is a must, I feel that some prep is also important. I know many people in the class of 2014 who prepped for both casper and the MMI and found it very helpful.

I would definitely go over some of the cases in doing right, and for each one consider the many different perspectives of the issues at hand.

Also there is a huge thread floating around somewhere on this forum that discusses ways to prep for the MMI and has several examples attached. I would strongly encourage you to look over some of the key points in that thread and really think about applying them to the examples.

 

Anyways, it is difficult to tell how well you did with casper as it is with many parts of the application/interview process. But I know that for myself, that I prepped for both casper and the MMI in the manner outlined above and I felt pretty good about my performances.

 

Basically its up to if you decide whether to prep or not and there is never no guarantee that your work will land you and interview or a spot in med school. However, I guarantee the effort you put into prepping and thinking about different issues in this manner will help make you a better physician in the long run ( or help you whenever you come across any sort of moral dilemma

in life) Best of luck!!

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there's a formula for doing situations like MMI and CASPer...

1) identify the issue. why is it an issue to the person in the case? who else will this issue affect?

2) identify as many perspectives on the matter as you can.

3) pick one and defend it.

4) follow through. identify anticipated future consequences, benefits, disadvantages.

 

going through Doing Right or some of the sample MMI questions would help set up this framework in your head, but beyond getting comfortable with that, my personal opinion is that there are no facts in doing right that are necessary to know, nor is it necessary to go overboard with practising situations. thinking about various issues is good (even just stuff on the news and so on). they don't expect you to have a full grasp of medical ethics :) they just want to know your basic ideas about things. i don't think anyone will fault you for making a decision as long as it's based on rational thought and a good explanation of why you said what you did. this applies for casper as well. remember that there really are no right answers. that's why i feel that preparation can only help so much. especially with casper...it is just so random.

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Thanks @Proton I found that breakdown really helpful.

I am worried that I lack the terminology or vocabulary to talk about ethical issues. Do you have any other books or suggestions to look over in prep for Casper?

Thanks!

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there is a huge thread floating around somewhere on this forum that discusses ways to prep for the MMI and has several examples attached. I would strongly encourage you to look over some of the key points in that thread and really think about applying them to the examples.
My 2 post Sticky on MMI Prep is located in Medical School Interviews Forum. CASPer is discussed there.

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Thanks @Proton I found that breakdown really helpful.

I am worried that I lack the terminology or vocabulary to talk about ethical issues. Do you have any other books or suggestions to look over in prep for Casper?

Thanks!

 

honestly don't stress about the proper terminology for ethical dilemma's - most of the type questions they will ask of you aren't going to be crazy medical scenario's that consist of very controversial topics. i agree that prepping for that type of situation can lead you astray.

just think about conflict situations that you'd see in every day situations - eg: your friend waits until the last minute to finish an assignment and asks to borrow yours - things like that.

 

but if you do want a book for terminology - look at doing right.

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Hello everyone,

 

I normally like to divide such questions as those on casper into two categories: hypothetical and past experiences. Hypothetical is like asking question about medical ethics: "blah blah blah, so would you operate on the patient? why or why not?". Past experiences would be something like "describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult or angry customer". Basically you can't invent things with the latter type of question: you either have had the experience or not.

 

My question is (mostly for those who have done casper in the past) how many questions on casper (roughly speaking) are hypothetical and how many are direct questions about past experiences? Is there more emphasis on one than the other?

 

Hopefully this isn't considered breach of confidentiality.

 

Thanks in advance

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CASPer is really a mixed bag.

 

There's also a 3rd type of question that you haven't considered: the random question. It's not hypothetical and it's not based on past experiences. It's more like how you perceive yourself.

 

To answer your initial question, I'd say that there were more past experience questions than hypothetical ones.

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CASPer is really a mixed bag.

 

There's also a 3rd type of question that you haven't considered: the random question. It's not hypothetical and it's not based on past experiences. It's more like how you perceive yourself.

 

To answer your initial question, I'd say that there were more past experience questions than hypothetical ones.

 

Thank you for your input. I guess there is really no right or wrong, not even good or bad. Merely have had the experience or not.

 

If I may ask another question: if you consider all three types including the one you mentioned, would you still say there is more emphasis on past experience questions?

 

I guess what I am trying to say is does one with few past experiences to write about but good writing and reasoning skills be able to pass? Or is the number of past experience questions so high that it's a must to cover (almost) all of them?

 

I realize this is a question that only the adcom knows the answer to. But as someone who has done Casper, what intuition do you have about it?

 

Thanks again

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I guess what I am trying to say is does one with few past experiences to write about but good writing and reasoning skills be able to pass?
Yes.

 

In most of my answers, I used examples of things that I had done/was doing to show that I had whatever skill the question was looking for, regardless of whether is was a past experience question or not. However, you don't need tons of experience to answer the questions well. I think I used the same 2 examples for most of my answers. There was a question (or 2, I can't remember the exact number), that asked you to draw on a specific past experience. But I wouldn't worry about not having enough life experience to do well on CASPer.

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A spammer posted the following Casper tips. He had to be banned but his tips might be helpful for some of you.

 

To help applicants out, here our Top Tips for Acing McMaster CASPer. We hope you find this helpful!

 

1. Familiarize yourself with the history of CASPer

 

Over 7 years of research and work at McMaster University has gone into the development of CASPer. There is a lot to be learned from publicly available research articles about its development and we encourage you to read them. You may gain insight into what they are looking for in applicants. The citations for those articles are:

 

1. Hanson M, Dore K, Reiter H, Eva K. Medical school admissions: revisiting the veracity and independence of completion of an autobiographical screening tool. Academic Medicine 2007;82:S8-S11.

 

2. Dore K, Hanson M, Reiter H, Blanchard M, Deeth, Eva K. Medical school admissions: enhancing the reliability and validity of an autobiographical screening tool. Academic Medicine 2006;81:S70-S3.

 

3. Dore K, Reiter H, Eva K, et al. Extending the interview to all medical school candidates–Computer-Based Multiple Sample Evaluation of Noncognitive Skills (CMSENS). Academic Medicine 2009;84:S9-S12.

 

2. Learn your medical ethics

 

Medical ethics are likely to be on your CASPer scenarios. Know your principles of medical ethics (autonomy, beneficence, non maleficence and justice) and how they apply in different medical situations, such as patient confidentiality and respecting patient autonomy. Check out a great online resource from the Canadian Medical Association Journal to get yourself started:

 

http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/collection/bioethics_for_clinicians_series

 

3. Understand the Canadian health care system

 

You might be asked for your opinion on challenges facing the Canadian health care system today. This requires an understanding of how our health care system works, problems patients, health care workers, organizations and governments are facing, and an awareness of ideas that could help improve the system.

 

To start you off, Health Canada provides a great introduction to our health care system:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/pubs/system-regime/2011-hcs-sss/index-eng.php

 

4. Learn and understand the Canada Health Act

 

The Canada Health Act is a piece of federal legislation from 1984 that funding for our health care system is based on. Understanding its 5 key principles are important for addressing scenarios on how we fund and deliver health care in Canada. The Canada Health Act is explored in the Health Canada URL from above, but we do encourage you to read more about it.

 

5. Reflect on your personal experiences

 

4 of the 12 sections will be “Personal”. We expect answering these questions to often require bringing up your experiences on leadership, communication, team work, health care, volunteering, professionalism, etc. Five minutes is not a lot of time to think of examples - you need to have these examples thought of ahead of time.

 

The CanMEDS roles are well-known competencies that doctors are expected to meet: Medical Expert , Communicator, Collaborator, Health Advocate, Manager, Scholar and Professional. . We suggest being able to provide an example where you demonstrate each of the CanMEDS qualities. It’s likely one of these CanMEDS roles will match the sections and questions that ask more about you personally.

 

For more information on CanMEDS:

http://rcpsc.medical.org/canmeds/index.php

 

6. Make a study guide and have it next to you

 

While you must take CASPer on your own and without help from others during the test, there is nothing against making a personal study guide and having it next to you for reference while you take the exam. Fill your study guide with medical ethics ideas, health care system facts and personal experiences you might want to draw from to support your answers. If you get lost, then you can quickly look at it to get some ideas!

 

7. When doing the test, explore all sides of the issue

 

The scenarios and questions will be challenging. There will often be ethical dilemmas where there may be no correct answer. But FIRST, Identify the issues at play! It is important to show that you can appreciate all sides of the issue. If you are being asked to make a decision, explore the pros and cons of each. Explain how your decision might affect the different players involved in the situation. Explore the future repercussions of such a decision on the rest of society. Make your answer as complete as possible.

 

8. Do easy questions first, leave hard ones for the end

 

You have 5 minutes to answer up to 3 questions. It’s quite likely that all 3 questions are worth the same marks. Don’t get stuck on a hard question and forget to do the easy ones. Quickly figure out which questions are easier for you first, and then do the hard one last. That way you will feel good knowing you got most, if not, all of the answers done well.

 

9. Answer ALL of the questions

 

It is tempting to be a perfectionist and try to get every single question perfect - but that might mean not completing every question. You want to avoid that. While it is not clear exactly how CASPer is marked, we suggest you work quickly to attempt all of the questions on a page. For all you know, you get a minimum mark just for trying. Don’t leave anything blank. Work quickly and efficiently!

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Some of the tips are helpful. But do not buy the sample! Its a scam. I saw the sample questions. They don't have an element of uneasiness to them i.e. they are too easy and clear. Casper is simply an MMI, except its written. Prepare by writing.

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That is just what I came to the forum to ask. Someone just sent me a link to MockCasper website. They are charging around $20 for a sample exam. You have to pay extra if you want yours to be evaluated.

 

Although I wouldn't mind any extra psychological assurance, I don't want to gain some false perceptions about my casper score. So thank you for warning us ahead of time!

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Added tip: you can have your prep next to you, but be aware that you will likely not have time to look things up. I had my ABS and some other stuff with me but I didn't end up using it. It ended up being helpful because I went through it earlier and it reminded me of what experiences I've had, but beyond that, I didn't have any time to look at my notes about anything.

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..........

Comments from those who were invited to Mac Interview, in part based upon the new Casper Questions - which may be compared to a written and faster MMI (computer based questions that must be answered quickly as opposed to autiobiographical answers made over time):

 

Theres no way to prepare for caper ideally. The best way to do it is having life experience. You can't fake your way through it really. You need to know how to handle stressful situations, resolve conflicts, utilize team work, problem solving, these sorts of things. You can spend hours studying these concepts, butt he best way i think is to have life experience in handling these situations either in your volunteer, research, EC's, whatever.

 

I used my own personal experiences to answer most questions on CASPer. In the end, I ended up having a lot of fun taking on the challenge of solving the different scenarios we were given. If I could give you two things to do to prepare, it would be to 1) briefly go over bioethics (i.e. read doing right), 2) practice MMI scenarios, because essentially CASPer is just an online MMI.

 

I agree with this. I just used my life experiences to answer the questions. Although there is no right answer, original ideas are definitely looked upon favorably. I think I got an invite because I provided some out-of-the-box answers for some of the questions. Almost everyone will talk about the ethical dilemmas at hand, and try and examine both sides of the issue, but you only have a minute to answer the question, don't write the exact same thing as the every other applicant.

 

You don't need to prep if you have the ability to think on the spot. I don't even think you can prep for CASPer.

 

Think quickly and carefully (as carefully as possible, anyway, with that red timer glaring at you) and be as honest as you can. I think there were scenarios where I was tempted to say what I thought they wanted me to say, but I had decided ahead of time to just go with what I really thought.

 

I think the best thing is to remain positive throughout the entire process. I.e. Don't let one bad question or section affect how you do on the following questions. :)

 

The usual sorts of interview tactics might make sense... Don't have scripted answers but be sure to have examples for the usual sorts of questions... I realize that I'm probably coming across as vague, but I don't want to be too specific since there is a lot of variability and I don't want to give away what questions I had....

 

More specifically for the sort of typical interview questions, I mean things like leadership, teamwork, deadlines etc. For example describe a circumstance where you couldnt seek help, what was it, how did you cope. Response should emphasis that you sought help, but then made the decision that would minimize the possibility of negative outcome, and consult an expert asap. A hypothetical example of that would be a medical emergency where you cant consult an expert right away, but you can do what you know to save their life at minimal risk, then consult the relevant expert.

 

For any (there were VERY FEW) medical questions, try to remember your obligations, primarily to the patient, giving them the information they need for informed consent.

 

When it comes to more general ethics, really just speak from your heart... care about free trade? sweatshop free? anything like that could be a good thing to lean on if you are short for time.

 

I hope this vagueness helps!

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^ I'm not a mod:D but it was quite simple to copy & paste from my Sticky.:P

 

lol you did it

awesome

thanks :D

 

I'm not sure if I should sign up for Wed or Sun

 

I'm going to read some of the health canada pages to prepare..i guess :S

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lol you did it

awesome

thanks :D

 

I'm not sure if I should sign up for Wed or Sun

 

I'm going to read some of the health canada pages to prepare..i guess :S

If you don't have time to do it, I wouldn't worry about reading the Health Canada site. You're applying to medicine; hopefully you already have a basic understanding of the system.

 

The tips that I think are the most useful (from what tooty posted) and #5 and #7.

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I would tend to favour Wed. only b/c my brain would be exercised from the normal daily activity and not resting as is more likely the case on a Sunday. :D

 

I'm also thinking Wednesday would be better because everyone (for the most part) will be out of the house.

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I hate CASPer more than I hate most other things. Having said that, I think much of it is gut instinct and common sense, so don't fret over it. I would suggest reading Doing Right (which is a good idea for most interviews anyway) and practicing as for MMI. Practice speed typing if you're a slow typist - it'll help tremendously.

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