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Roadmap for physician trainees' Everest

Timothy Edward Coughlan
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (1): 55. || doi: 10.5694/mja14.01214
Published online: 19 January 2015
Examination medicine. A guide to physician training
7th edition. Nicholas J Talley, Simon O'Connor. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone, 2013 (496 pp, $89.96). ISBN 9780729541688.

ALTHOUGH NOT DIRECTLY endorsed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), Examination medicine is widely considered to be the definitive manual for approaching the exam that many physicians describe as the most stressful experience of their careers. The 7th edition retains the overall structure of its previous incarnation, with the early chapters providing an overview of physician training in Australia and New Zealand and touching briefly on the FRACP written exam. The book remains dedicated to how candidates for the FRACP examination should approach the long and short case formats that make up the exam.

This new edition makes even greater use of tables and figures to present key information in ways that are relatively simple to absorb. Clinical images abound and are now predominantly in colour. Useful tips and potential pitfalls for the unwary candidate are flagged. A welcome new chapter has been added that contains examples of potential long cases — highlighting how an examiner may approach a case and what discussion points are likely to arise. Additional online video content is included with this edition in the form of a model long and short case.

The 7th edition builds on the strengths of previous editions and hence remains an invaluable reference, not only for FRACP candidates but also for advanced trainees and consultants looking to refresh and revise their clinical skills. Professor Talley and Dr O'Connor are well placed to comment on the standard expected at the exam being, at the time of publication, the President of the RACP and a member of the Senior Examination Panel, respectively. Medical students and clinicians from other specialties will also benefit from the systematic and thorough approach to clinical assessment and diagnosis presented in this book, although they may find the level of detail surplus to requirement.

  • Timothy Edward Coughlan

  • General Medical Unit, Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC.

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