FACEM Exam post – our response

A ‘Statement’ on the comments section of a recent post:


We have received two indirect complaints about the ‘comments’ section of the post from the 17th of August 2017, and concerns about our initial lack of moderation of this thread.  

By way of background, we wrote a brief commentary based on an article in the Guardian newspaper, the ACEM working group interim report, and our appreciation of the college’s leadership on the issues.  It should be noted we were asked to post on, and provide a forum for discussion of the matter by FACEM trainees.

Following these posts, we were inundated with (anonymous) comments on the site.  It should be noted that (on this hosting service) once an initial comment from an individual is ‘approved’ then their follow-up comments are automatically posted without our ‘sign off’.

This Website

Since 2013, we have tried to provide high-quality educational content. Furthermore, on occasion, the site has hosted ‘forums’ for discussion, and to some degree, a cathartic outlet for some individuals who can choose to remain anonymous when posting.

Regardless of the occasional forum, the main objective and function of this website remains as a Free Open Access Medication Education (FOAM) platform for a community of learners in Western Sydney.  

Apology to the Complainant(s)

From re-reading the Complainant(s)’ cited comments we realise that many of the statements crossed a line.  It is now clear that much of the anonymous commenting by individuals (external to our site) could be upsetting to individuals. The content of the anonymous commenting was concerning at the time but rather than moderating the comments we posted to request civility and professionalism.

While this is not an ‘excuse’ for our approach moderation of the thread (in regard to the use of pseudonyms) it should be noted that we did not understand all the comments. We offer an apology to those concerned that until this week that posts were not moderated.  

On the 4th of September, our initial action was to remove 10 comments which ‘named’ others (with pseudonyms) and referenced individuals and/or organisations.

Following this initial response it was the opinion of the complainant(s) that the remaining comments were inappropriate and that our response had not been serious enough (sic).

Regarding the latter, we will continue to do our best to respond in a satisfactory manner.

Regarding the former, our employer has asked us to remove the comments section and we have complied with this request.  

We offer a sincere apology to any readers that have been offended by any comments or content on this website at any time since 2013.

To Trainees 

From the other side of the ‘exam fence’ it is easy to look at trainees’ who have been unsuccessful in an exam with sympathy, but not necessarily empathy.  

If you do feel aggrieved about your experiences, they are YOUR experiences and therefore the feelings are valid.  The perceived uneven playing field, and not being able to get on with post-exam life, must be very difficult.  We wish all those involved with the discussion on the (now moderated) thread well for the future.  

The Future

We suggest online debate(s) about the ‘new’ FACEM examination may have to be elsewhere. In any future discussion threads on this site, we will request for professionalism and a reasonable ‘code of conduct’ in posting.  This will be enforced more fully and immediately . 

This site has received over half a million views overall and we hope had a positive impact from both a local and international point of view. We welcome constructive feedback and our ‘values statement’ can be referenced HERE.

6 thoughts on “FACEM Exam post – our response

  1. Some people can’t tolerate the truth and that is the whole issue.
    I am not at all surprised infact I was expecting this to happen much earlier.

  2. Surprised by your comment Andrew”they don’t deserve empathy”
    No one is asking for empathy or sympathy.
    They are asking for level playing field.
    Just look at EAG’s Graph.
    And people who are complaining about the comments- I just feel sorry for them

    1. Your misunderstanding sue. I’m saying if you passed first time and you in group a you can’t empathise. Only sympathise because you have not been through it yourself. Likewise I can’t empathise with the patients we see at work with life changing illnesses

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