Skip to main content

How to Pass the RACP Written and Clinical Exams: The Insider's Guide, 2nd Edition



How to Pass the RACP Written and Clinical Exams: The Insider's Guide, 2nd Edition

Zoë Raos (Editor), Cheryl Johnson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-89263-3 April 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 368 Pages


Surviving the journey through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) examinations requires grit, courage and hard work. The second edition of How To Pass the RACP Written and Clinical Exams is fully updated to help candidates – and those who teach them – dig deep to maximise their chances of success.

This insider’s guide takes the candidate through the whole process, from preparing for the Written Exam, through to presenting short and long cases in the Clinical Exam. The authors’ experiences are combined with tips from recent candidates, wisdom from RACP examiners and advice from specialist contributors. Additional chapters for post-exam registrars and supervisors include career planning, providing feedback, preparing for interviews, and organising the Clinical Exam.

As well as comprehensive guidance for adult medicine candidates, this new edition includes ‘Paeds Points’ for paediatrics trainees.

Containing a wealth of information, pearls of wisdom, real-life examples and practical advice, this light-hearted insider’s guide makes the path through the grueling RACP exams far easier.

Preface xv

About the Authors xvii

Acknowledgements xix

Illustrations xxi

General Disclaimer xxiii

Section 1 The Written Exam 1

1 Introduction to the Written Exam 3

Why Does The RACP Have a Written Exam? 4

When is the Best Time to Sit? 5

How Long Does It Take to Prepare for the Written Exam? 5

Am I Ready to Sit This Exam? 5

Decision Made. Sitting the Written 6

2 Preparation 11

One Year Out – What to Do Before You Even Start Studying 11

3 How to Start Studying for the Written Exam 15

How to Manage Your Time 15

Dealing with Stress 20

Advice from Registrars on Studying and Keeping Sane(ish) 21

Evidence©\Based Study – Break It Down! 24

Getting Down to Work – How to Start Studying 25

4 Topics That Need to Be Covered for the Written Exam 29

What is My Goal? Why Am I Putting Myself Through This? 29

How to Think Like An Examiner for the Written Exam 30

Organising Your Study Time – A Plan of Attack 30

The FRACP Curriculum 31

Topics to Cover 31

Money for Jam 32

Immunology – Special Mention 33

Visual Material in the Exam 34

5 Study Group 35

General Principles That Make Study Groups Effective 35

What Do You Do at Study Group? 36

6 Now We Know How to Study, What Stuff Do We Study From? 39

Wallpapering Your Mind 39

Comprehensive List of Resources for Wallpapering Your Mind 40

Lecture©\Based Resources 40

MCQ©\Based Resources 42

Textbooks and Online Resources 44

Other Useful Textbooks and Resources 46

Technological Advances to Help With Your Study 48

Journals: A Suggested Approach 49

Useful Websites 50

7 Old FRACP Exam Questions 53

Without Us, or You, Breaking the Rules, How Can the Modern Candidate Cope Without FRACP Past and Remembered Papers? 54

What is the Point of Doing Old FRACP and Course Questions? 54

8 Two©\Week Revision Courses 57

Dunedin FRACP Written Examination Revision Course 58

FRACP Written Exam Prep Course – Melbourne 59

Royal Prince Alfred BPT Exam Revision Course – Sydney 59

Short Courses Worthy of Consideration 60

9 Putting It All Together – The Final Three Months 63

Practicalities of Getting to the Exam 63

What to Study 63

Keeping as Calm as Possible 64

Leading Up to the Big Day – The Weeks Before 64

The Day Before 65

On the Day – How to Get Through the Exam 66

10 After the Exam 69

What to Do If You Pass 69

What to Do If You Don’t Pass 69

Section 2 The Clinical Exam 71

11 Introduction to the FRACP Clinical Exam 73

Why Is There a Clinical Exam? 75

Getting Your Timing Right: When to Sit the Clinical Exam 75

12 The Clinical Exam Marking Schedule 77

13 Two Weeks of Ground Work 85

Three Key Parts to Passing the Clinical Exam 86

How to Get Humble and Ask for Help 87

The Kit Bag 88

Book Reviews 92

Course Reviews 96

Personal Appearance – First Impressions Count 98

The ‘Infection Control’ Effect 104

14 How to Start – Doing Your First Practice Cases 105

Know Your Enemies 106

A Few Tricks of the Trade 106

Practising Cases – Who Can Help You the Most? 106

Who Can Help Me Pass This Exam? 107

Mock Exams: Well Worth the Humiliation 109

15 An Introduction to the Long Case 111

What is a Long Case Anyway? 111

Point to Prove in the Long Case 113

Aspects of a Long Case 113

Practising for Long Cases 116

How Many Long Cases Should You Do? 117

Practicalities of Practising 118

What to Do If There Aren’t Enough Patients to See 119

Key Long Cases 119

Taking Orderly Notes for Your Long Case 121

Role of the Study Group for the Long Case 122

16 Mastering and Presenting your Long Case 125

A Suggested Style for Long Case Presentation 125

Organising Your Presentation 126

Verbal Signposts 127

Presenting a Case Well – Speech and Drama 101 127

Presentation Template That Worked for Us 128

The Grilling 138

The Aftermath 138

Sentences That Save Time and Sound Slick 139

17 Special Points for Paediatric Cases 141

Specific Points About the Paediatric Long Case 141

The Developmental Case 144

The Adolescent Long Case 149

18 Secret Long Case Species 153

The Chronic Disease Long Case 153

The Single Problem Long Case 154

The Diagnostic Dilemma Long Case 154

The Disaster Long Case 155

19 Top Long Case Tips from Candidates and Examiners 161

Long Case Advice from Candidates 161

Long Case Advice from Examiners 164

20 Suggested Approach to a M¨¡ori Patient in the Long Case 167

21 Long Case Examples 171

Long Case 1 – Multiple Medical Problem Management 171

Long Case 2 – Complicated Diabetes Case 178

Long Case 3 – Diagnostic Long Case 185

Long  Case 4 – Adolescent Single Problem Long Case with Transition of Care 193

22 Past Exam Long Cases 203

23 An Introduction to the Short Case 217

Marking Schedule for the Short Case 217

Points to Prove in the Short Case 218

24 How to Put On a Show 223

Part 1: Examination Routine – How to Practise 223

Part 2: Presenting a Short Case 230

Part 3: The Short Case Discussion (Grilling) 233

25 Short Case Advice from Registrars 239

26 Past Exam Short Cases 243

27 Putting It All Together for the Clinical Exam – One Month Out 257

What is Your Presentation Style? 257

General Advice About Style 258

Personalities That Fail the Clinical Exam 259

28 The Lead©\Up to the Exam 265

The Week Before 265

The Day Before 266

The Morning of the Exam – Staying Calm 266

Getting Through Exam Day – Tips From Registrars 267

Final Advice From Examiners 268

Section 3 The F©\words – Freedom, Failure, Feedback, Family, Finding Patients and Fellowship 271

29 The Post©\Exam World 273

Wow! I Passed! 273

Oh. I’ve Failed 274

The Official Feedback Session 274

30 How to Fail – The Outsider’s Guide to the FRACP Exam 275

Chapter Author: Dr Roderick Ryan, General Physician, Box Hill 275

‘ I Failed the FRACP Exam – What Shall I Do?’ 276

Tips for Coping with Failure in the Written Exam 277

Tips for Coping with Failure in the Clinical Exam 278

Seven Key Clinical Exam Skills that Must be Mastered by Those Who Have Failed 279

Snakes and Ladders 281

31 Paying It Forward – How to Provide Feedback for Practice Cases 283

The Feedback Loop 284

Feedback for Clinical Exams 284

32 Studying for the Exams with a Family on Board 291

Chapter Author: Dr Robert Wakuluk, Advanced Trainee, Auckland 291

33 Organising the Clinical Exam 295

First Principles 295

Organising the People and the Space 296

Case Selection Formula 297

Types of Cases You Need to Find 298

Where Are Cases Found? 299

Short Case Patients 301

Long Case Patients 301

Back©\Up Patients 301

The Envelopes 302

‘Mind©\Map’ and Other Spreadsheets 303

The Day Before 304

On the Day 304

What Examiners Tell the Patients 304

34 Preparing for Your Medical Interview 307

Chapter Author: Dr Nalin Wickramasuriya, Consultant Paediatrician 308

Trap Number 1 – Giving a Straight Answer to a Straight Question 309

The Three Goals of an Interview 309

Rapport 309

Trap Number 2 – The Short Case/Viva Complex 312

Trap Number 3 – Preparing for the Interview Like an Exam 312

Trap Number 4 – Talking Posh on the Day of the Interview 314

Trap Number 5 – Not Planning Your Response When the Interviewer Asks You a Question 315

35 Career Planning 317

I Passed. What Advanced Training Programme Should I Apply For? 317

Pearls of Wisdom 318

Career Path Planning 319

Get a Mentor 320

36 OK, We’ll Stop Talking Now! 321

Helping the Next Lot 322

Index 323