Emergency Medicine Fellowship

Welcome to our new and updated Fellowship page presented with love and our best wishes…


(NB – all resources are FOAMed – creative commons copyright for your own use)

Trial Exam (2018:1):

SAQ 1 – CLICK HERE      Marking Scheme 1 – CLICK HERE

MCQ – CLICK HERE  (Answer Sheet) (Answers)*


Trial Exam (2018:2):

SAQ 2 – CLICK HERE   SAQ 2 Props – CLICK HERE      Marking Scheme 2 – CLICK HERE

MCQ – CLICK HERE  (Answer Sheet) (Answers)*

(*NB marking schemes for MCQs are the same)


More MCQ/EMQ Questions:

Recalls 2018:1a – CLICK HERE     Recalls 2018:1b – CLICK HERE

Recalls MCQ/EMQ 2016:1 CLICK HERE   Recalled Topics 2016:2 – CLICK HERE  

Recalled MCQ a 2016:2 – CLICK HERE     Recalled MCQ b 2016:2 – CLICK HERE



Cardiology SAQ – CLICK HERE (with informal answers)


Track the progress of eternal emergency medicine trainee ”Dr Ed Rêjé” – CLICK HERE

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OSCE Tips Page (password required)

OSCE Crash Course


Sign up for 2020-2021 Courses – Click Here

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We hope the resources below will be useful to anyone working in an Emergency Department (ED) or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) looking for rapid revision of popular topics. 

The information presented is based on our shared experiences in approaching postgraduate assessments. The content on this page is apologetically Australasian in viewpoint but should be generalisable to most locations.

  • If you are looking for an overview about Emergency Training – CLICK HERE
  • If you are already in an Emergency Medicine training program and thinking about future assessments read on…
The FACEM Chain of Survival
The FACEM Exam Chain of Survival

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As part of a growing family of FOAMed web sites we share our Revision Notes for the FACEM examination.

The full free e-book (over 200 pages) can be found here:


by Dr Andrew Coggins FACEM

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With the new FACEM exam having a bullet point knowledge focus we also recommend:


by Dr Ed Burns FACEM

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Name Tags

  • Fellowship Examinations such as the ‘FACEM‘, ‘FRCEM‘ and ‘ABEM‘ have become a mainstay of assessment and accreditation for advanced trainees in Emergency Medicine.
  • Top picks for online resources to help with these challenging examinations on our LINKS page.
  • There are also a number of links on this page that you will find of use in your exam studies, new Work Based Assessments (WBA) and everyday ‘on the floor‘ clinical practice.

The new OSCE is a massive barrier.  You need to start practicing OSCE ‘performances‘ early – both on the floor and in your study group.

Feedback on your performance is key.  Seek multiple sources and types of feedback

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  • In Australia and New Zealand the WBA have now replaced the older components of the ACEM fellowship assessment process following a Curriculum Review Project (CRP) completed in 2013.  Similar changes have occurred in the UK.


The new Australasian FACEM exam is summarised as follows:


Can be sat much earlier in training than in the past – Application and Eligibility

  • Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) – essentially similar to the old exam component (questions below) with the addition of Extended Matching Questions (EMQs)
  • Short Answer Question (SAQ)highly controversial following recent sitting
    • Consists of 30 questions in one paper over 180 minutes
      • 1 question should be about 6 minutes in duration (but there can be ‘double‘ and ‘triple‘ questions. (NB This threw a lot of candidates off in their timing in the inaugural sitting of the exam in February 2015)
      • Timing appears to be one of the main challenges with the new exam format and even when the teething problems of the new format subside this is likely to be difficult for candidates.
    • Essentially, instead of essay style questions most new SAQ questions will have between 2 and 6 parts or sections requiring short structured responses.  A stapled answer booklet is provided for you to write on.


  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
    • We are still waiting for the first OSCE although the college has issued some sample OSCES and we have made some of our own for you to practice.
    • Workshops and Resource Pages are springing up around Australia and New Zealand to try to help with preparing for the OSCE and simulating the experience.
    • Candidates are understandably very nervous.
    • What we do know is that the format will be similar to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM) OSCE:
    • Essentially there will be up to 20 OSCE stations in 2 sittings of 10 stations.  While there are “10 stations” one will be a rest station.  10 x 10 minutes OSCEs means the exams will last 200 minutes in all.  You will get 3 minutes reading outside exam room and 7 minutes in exam room usually with two examiners who do not interact and do not give feedback.  The marking sheet for the OSCE will be “very similar” to the Work Based Assessment marking sheets.
    • Our friends at Life in the Fast Lane have also outlined their thoughts on success in the new exam for 2015 and beyond.

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  • There is an overall trend across post graduate education to adopt continuous assessment of competency rather than on a single high stakes assessment that determines a candidates ability to progress. This trend in education and training has led to changes in the FACEM, ABEM and FRCEM exams in recent years.
  • While changing the old assessment model is the ‘end of an era’, many of the principles relevant to exam success in the old systems will still apply.   At the end of the day the ‘college committees’ and ‘examiners’ are the same people.

FACEM Dinosaurs

So here is some old wisdom… You need to following to succeed:

  • Systematic Approach to Common Emergency Presentations
  • A broad knowledge of Emergency Medicine
    • Adopting highly structured ‘bullet point’ approach
  • Refined Expert Level Communication Skills
  • Demonstration of ‘FACEM‘ level thinking and decision making
  • Lots of marked practice papers (sat in real time)
  • Use of professional language to describe assessment and management
  • An understanding of what assessors (WBA) and examiners (FACEM exam) are looking for in order to achieve success
  • Feedback from your local consultants and colleagues

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“Success in the FACEM exam depends on both knowledge and exam technique.”

We suggest you make your own notes with the focus of your notes being on the on the likely content for MCQ and SAQ

We saved A LOT of time using Medical Applications (and not textbooks) for quick reference during study sessions.  You can look up the information much faster electronically even if you are not an expert with computers.  We particular recommend using WIKEM on your tablet or smart phone – WIKIEM is essentially like the ‘Dunn’ textbook (short notes) taken from Tintinalli and Up to date and therefore just perfect for quick recaps at the touch of a button.


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  • The most important thing is to have a sensible plan and plenty of support from friends and family.
  • While studying make sure to give yourself a pat on the back and a break once in a while… (not to mention an nice cup of tea or coffee to prevent too many caffeine withdrawal symptoms)
  • Unlike undergraduate exams, this exam requires a ‘Marathon like‘ effort over a long period of time, often with family, financial and full-time work commitments
  • It’s a very important exam but your life outside the exam is also important – not only that – but short breaks may actually help you do well in the exam (Starling’s curve = too much stress = reduced performance).  Table 2 shows the Hicks et al approach to preparing for stressful situations

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  • Take advice from your consultants and colleagues seriously
    • You should ask honestly whether you are ready to sit. Consider bringing forward or delaying your first attempt at the exam after taking this advice.

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(1) Use a rapid revision technique to look up answers – one option is to use online textbooks or journal articles in PDF or similar electronic format:

  • Once the file is open use the CONTROL F (Find) function on your computer to rapidly search for the information on the page (this saves hours of looking through Index pages of large textbooks)
  • In New South Wales (Australia) free textbooks with search functions are available at C.I.A.P.  (most health services around the world have similar local access)
  • ‘CONTROL F’ search can be used using our notes (in PDF format above) to rapidly search for relevant content

(2) It may seem obvious but read the question both carefully and from the examiners point of view.  Why have they made up this question? Be suspicious of double negatives and long winded stems (*which are usually wrong).  Try writing a few (maybe 5 or 10) MCQs yourself to get in the examiners mindset.

(3) Share your recalled questions with each other.  Many hospitals have banks of MCQs and I-MEDUCATE has a variety of questions for a subscription rate membership…

(4) Have a study group of like minded candidates for both the written and clinical examination (choose wisely). Support each other in your local study group


  • Key Exam Tip – Keeping to Time
      • In the MCQ exam your will find there is a lot of spare time whereas in all other parts of the exam you will find yourself under significant time pressure.
      • The exam rewards consistency so avoid spending extra time on any on question or point in order to score 100 percent.
      • If you spend more than the allotted time on a question, especially in the written exam you will risk failing the exam, not through lack of knowledge, but just on missing a question…
      • While it’s VERY tempting to change answers in the MCQ with the extra time you have we suggest NOT doing this unless you ‘read the question wrong’ or are ‘certain you made a mistake’.  Invariably, your first guess is the best percentage answer to write down in the exam…


Multiple Choice Paper (MCQ and EMQ)

  • Historically, the MCQ components of the FACEM Fellowship exam have had a very high pass rate (in the range of 90% or more).  These are now be marked and assessed on a computer which as to date been reliable.  It is hard to come out of this portion of the exam feeling confident.  It examines relative minutiae.  The best way to prep is get your hands on as many MCQs as possible, do them repeatedly and write notes based on the topics previously tested.


Our Free Practice Questions

After coming out of my Exam I wrote down as many MCQs as I could… You can ask your peers to do the same.

Here are some ‘gold’ recall questions from previous Fellowship exams (a limited number of repeats are likely):

2015:1 FACEM Exam “Golds” Recall Paper

2015:2 FACEM Exam “Golds” Recall Paper

2014 FACEM Exam “Golds” Recall Paper

2012 FACEM Exam “Golds” Recall Paper

2013 FACEM Exam “Golds” Recall Paper

2004 FACEM “Golds” Recall Paper

2010 FACEM “Golds” Recall Paper

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Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

Our suggestion is that timed practice SAQs become part of your daily revision at an early stage. Here are some questions to get you started:

SAQ Resus and Cardiology Questions – CLICK HERE

SAQ Challenge Questions – CLICK HERE

More Practice SAQ Questions – CLICK HERE

SAQ Full Practice Exam 1 (2016) – CLICK HERE

Practice questions for the new format exam appear to be hard to obtain in great numbers.

The topics are likely to be similar to old exams so it would be worth covering many of the old topics in your revision.

Full List of old style Fellowship Questions can be found here:- PAST EXAMS

Topics for the new format SAQs will be similar to the past questions but in the more structured format.

Rhetorical ‘Must Do’ – “you must write as neatly as possible, consider printing in capitals if your handwriting is hard to read (i.e. legible quality is more important that quantity)”


Structure and answer ‘labeling with catchy openings‘ are now not as important compared to specific knowledge.

However, choosing and stating priorities as well as ‘catchy’ phrasing and writing neatly are still important.

Imagine your examiner reading your paper (number 55 of 150) at 2am.

How are your going to stand out and assure them you are seen as ‘consultant material’ to the examiner reading your answers?


High Yield Topics – Where should I start?

  1. ECG – have a look at our ECG Page for original ECGs and guide to interpretation for the exam (this is an important part of the SAQ and OSCE exams)
  2. Resuscitation – as Emergency Physicians we need to be “expert in this area”
  3. X-Ray – Especially Chest and Common Orthopaedic X-rays
  4. CT Scans – Especially CT Head, CT Abdomen and CT Chest (single axial slices)
  5. Airway – Advanced Airway Questions occur commonly in the SAQ and OSCE (not usually a standard ‘RSI’ – see our revision notes from page 12-16)
  6. Toxicology – We suggest you make a list of common poisonings that have come up in prior exams.  Have a global approach to ‘Tox‘ Presentations
  7. Administration – classic questions come in the FACEM on various admin topics

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The “OSCE” Examination

Best of web – discussing the new OSCE is ‘Adelaide E.M.‘ – Click Here

Start off – For a recently created FACEM OSCE Practice Exams – Click Here

Deep Dive – Our course and resources for the OSCE exam (password) – Click Here   

(Click Here to obtain a password)


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WBA – Case Based Discussions

The long case has been replaced by the WBA “Case Discussion” since 2015.

Case discussions for WBA will require similar skills to the old long case exam

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OSCE Examination and WBA MINI-CEX

The short cases are being replaced by the WBA “MINI-CEX” but clinical history taking and abbreviated examinations can still be tested in the OSCE exam.

In the OSCE Clinical Examinations will still be expected to be of a high standard:  “Physical examination is an important skill for Emergency physicians and may be examined in the Fellowship clinical exam (OSCE). Advice to trainees preparing for the 2015.1 OSCE is that they should refine and rehearse their physical examination skills in the real context of Emergency Medical practice. In an OSCE station, their physical examination should be tailored to the clinical scenario and patient as presented in the station. Where instructed, candidates should perform an appropriate and focussed examination, as would be expected if faced with a similar case in the emergency department.”

Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX) for WBA will require similar skills to the old ‘short cases’ in terms of professionalism and communication. A WBA or ‘short case’ is basically a bit of theatre.  You need to learn the lines as if you are an actor in a play…


The OSCE examination and history stations are be a challenging because a similar level of competence to the ‘old short case’ may be expected by the assessors/examiners.

The equipment recommended for a WBA or OSCE is standardised and should be provided on the day.  Essentially what you can easily access on the ED floor.  For the new WBA and OSCE you will be dressed in scrubs and not a suit.

Gone’th the brief case, come’th the I-PAD


Revising Efficiently for OSCEs and WBAs

The style of revision and energy levels required for the WBA and Clinical Exam are quite different from the Written Exam.  Studying for this part involves lots of waiting around (thinking of ways to make use of this time is helpful).  In addition, the highly pressured nature of the OSCE Exam means that you have to practice ‘your act’ before the big day.  Be imaginative about revising and ask for constant feedback.

Our number one piece of advice for Short Exams and Mini-CEX assessments is to ‘get slick’ by seeing lots of normal patients on the floor.  Spend time examining normal patient a few days before a WBA so you don’t have to think about the next step of your examination routine.  The same rules apply for revising for the OSCE.

Get into good everyday habits, rather than ‘fake it to make it’ (at the last minute).

The lines required to act out the common Mini-CEX and OSCE ‘play’ exams are the ten or so main examinations found in “Talley and O’Connor“.

If you feel really stuck to help you start off there are well produced videos demonstrating the short case routines are online – CLICK HERE


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Flash Cards (#thebluntdissectionthebluntdissection)


Critical Care



General Surgery


Infectious Diseases




Renal + Electrolytes



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Make your own Fellowship ‘Car-Cast’

  • We suggest making your own Car-casts to help your revision (especially if you have a long drive to work)
  • My ‘Car-Casts’ were thrown together to play in my car on the way to work (my commute was between 30 and 60 minutes each way for the 9 months before the exam).  Despite the pain of listening to your own dour drone I found it was a helpful way to revise important aspects for the exam that I was finding difficult to remember!
  • Car-Casts, along with listening to the multitude of excellent Podcasts available online (such as EMRAP and EMCRIT), are an excellent way to keep up your study in the car as well as add variety to your revision.

Why not sharpen up your knowledge in the car?

(*Please note that the corresponding ‘questions’ referred to in the Car-Cast Downloads are found in the FACEM Revision Notes document (use ‘Control F to search the PDF document).

The ‘CarCasts’ I made were VERY “rough around the edges” but i genuinely thought they helped me in the exam with recall.  So they are here as demonstrative example of what you can do yourself to add some variety to your revision during your commute to work.


5 Easy Steps to make your own ‘CarCast‘ 

(1) On your Mac Computer Open ‘Garage Band’ (Type in ‘Garage Band’ into the finder to locate the program).  You can use a similar program on a PC

(2) Select New File a by clicking on ‘New Project’

Making a Revision CarCast

(3) Record your ideas on a particular revision topic

(4) Save your work as a music file using the ‘Share‘ Tab and ‘Export Podcast to Disc

(5) Listen to your CarCast on the way to work

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Other Recommended Exam Resources

EmergencyPedia Top LinksCLICK HERE


Life in the Fast Lane – CLICK HERE

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We wish you all the best with your fellowship exam and WBA preparation!


15 thoughts on “Emergency Medicine Fellowship

  1. Hey Andrew. I just got around to looking through your site. This is amazing! You have done a fantastic job – really well set out and answers all the questions everyone wants to know preparing for the exam. Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Andrew, many thanks for putting these resources online. I am sure you have spent countless hours in putting them together and shed a lot of blood and sweat in the process. Thanks very much for making them available to us trainees. Much appreciated !!! 🙂

  3. Obviously the new FACEM Exam is imminent for 2015 with the last exam in the current format to take place on the 25th of October.

    The plan for this page is to adjust the content for the new exam:

    1) modified VAQ
    2) MCQ
    3) OSCE

    we will endeavor to update this page between now and the end of 2014.

    The other content from this page will be moved to a new page about the “continuous assessment” of the curriculum which will replace the short and long cases.

  4. Nice Job – you need some more SAQs in the new format. Good job with the MCQ recalls – keep them coming

  5. Hey there, thanks for all the great resources. Just noticed the link for the practice MCQ 2018.2 Answers brings up the 2018.1 answers…. Any chance of changing this to the 2018.2 answers so I can mark it?

  6. Hey there, I’ve noticed the Answers for the practice MCQ for 2018.2 actually brings up the 2018.1 MCQ answers. Any chance of changing it so I can mark my paper?

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