In medicine, doctors often face a lot of pressure. The Situation Judgement Test (SJT) emphasizes how important it is for doctors to manage this pressure effectively. Let’s explore what this means through some real-world scenarios.

  1. Handling a Busy ER:

Imagine a very busy night in the Emergency Room, filled with patients needing urgent care.

What would you do?

  • Would you assess and prioritize patients based on their medical needs, organize your team to handle tasks efficiently, and communicate with waiting patients about expected delays?
  • Or would you try to rush through patient assessments, hoping to manage everyone quickly?

Thinking it Through: In emergencies, staying organized and communicating well is crucial. Rushing can lead to mistakes that might endanger patients.

  1. Delivering Difficult News:

You need to tell a family that their loved one’s illness is terminal.

How would you approach this?

  • Would you take a moment to prepare, choose a private and quiet place, and speak with compassion and clarity?
  • Or would you avoid the conversation because it’s too difficult, and wait for someone else to handle it?

Thinking it Through: Handling tough conversations carefully builds trust. It’s important to prepare mentally and handle these moments with care.


  1. Dealing with Personal Challenges:

You receive distressing personal news but have a full schedule of surgeries.

What’s your next step?

  • Would you inform a colleague or your supervisor about your situation, evaluate if you’re in the right state of mind to continue, and perhaps ask someone else to take over important tasks?
  • Or would you try to work through the day, hoping your personal feelings don’t impact your work?

Thinking it Through: It’s key to acknowledge how personal issues might affect your work, especially in surgery. Being open about your state of mind and ensuring patient safety is a sign of professionalism.

  1. Managing Aggressive Patients:

A patient known for being difficult starts to get confrontational during a consultation.

How would you handle it?

  • Would you remain calm, ensure your safety, and use techniques to calm the patient down, calling for help if it escalates?
  • Or would you respond with anger and escalate the situation?

Thinking it Through: When dealing with challenging patients, keeping calm and using strategies to reduce tension can prevent situations from getting worse.

In Conclusion: Managing Pressure in Medicine:

Doctors face many pressures, from urgent medical decisions to handling personal issues. Managing these pressures effectively is crucial for patient care. The SJT tests your ability to handle these situations, reminding you that staying calm and resilient is vital in medicine.

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