MS Expert Patient

MS Expert Patient

Cranial Nerve Examination

I have recently met some 3rd year medical students at my GPs’ surgery on their request; an activity I usually do if I can when asked to do it, being someone living with MS – not solely stuck in MY head!

A cartoon showing a 3rd year medial student expectations

What this does is not only the giving me the chance to give something back to the medical body, that they (students) learn from, but the chance for me to share some of my story.

I have assisted with a/the Cranial Nerve Examination several times now being the patient, as my eyes are affected by my condition. These (examinations) have taken part in a learning centre area of the RVI* and separately my GPs’ surgery.

*This has been different across the years! I go along with about 15 other ‘patients’ across 2 wards, each in our own respective ward area, to sit or lie and await a small team (5-6) of students with a qualified doctor per team. These teams each have their task/s to perform depending on what these are. Do I enjoy it? Yes, I do now being somewhat of an expert patient (well, it was said to me!) I can  help them (a bit) without interfering with the lead doctor of course! Quite a long afternoon, 15 teams of 6, with 15 minutes each. Tiring!



So, this time (February 2017) in my GP Surgery there were just 3 students. It never ceases to astound me how much they know of their field. But I suppose when I was in a similar position (3rd year) at Glasgow University I knew a lot of my then stuff (Aeronautical Engineering); a different kind of gibberish (numbers, Greek characters, diagrams, more numbers etc!) but my gibberish. Trying to put that – the Cranial Nerve Examination – into context even now, in what they know about even ONE element of their study being an element of multiple sclerosis is I suppose, harder (contextualization) for me having MS.


The specific focus (ha) was on my eyes, e.g. Visual Acuity, Visual Fields, Visual Extinction. Me being the patient and they performing the above mentioned Cranial Nerve Examination with more concentration on my eyes. They only did an hour’s examination and test practice. Students after all! I’m sure they are getting younger. Ahem. Good people though.

Last year’s 5 took longer to grill me but they did a bigger investigation into and around other nerve responses etc. e.g. leg reactions, spasticity tests, responses and more! Some from the suggested list below – I can’t remember exactly which ones!

3.    Vision (CN II)


What is next, when and for whom? I know not but I will willingly take part again IF I can. Not that it would interfere with work that much!

That ^ is a relatively short blog in a specific field. A bit late since last one I know, and completely different, as will be the next one lined up! Until then, be well!