Medical Training Review Panel: fourteenth report

Medical College Examinations

Page last updated: 11 March 2011

This section provides information on the number of Australian vocational trainees who sat college or faculty examinations in 2009 and the number of trainees who successfully passed.

Current Data

Table 4.24 presents the outcomes of fi nal or fellowship examinations in 2009. This highlights the considerable variation in the pass rates across medical specialties and even for different examinations required by colleges for a particular specialty. These differences are due, at least in part, to differing assessment processes. Further information on the requirements of each college is provided under the heading 'Training Assessment' in Appendix B.

Table 4.24: Vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination: Trainees sitting and proportion passing by medical specialty, 2009

Medical specialtyExaminationTrainees sittingTrainees passingProportion passing (%)
AnaesthesiaFellowship
241
189
78.4
Anaesthesia - Pain medicineFellowship
24
20
83.3
DermatologyFellowship Written
24
20
83.3
Fellowship Clinical
21
20
95.2
Emergency medicine
111
73
65.8
General practice(a)RACGP Fellowship Exam
463
407
87.9
ACRRM Fellowship exam
MSF
45
36
80.0
MiniCEX
38
37
97.4
MCQ
34
22
64.7
StAMPS
17
11
64.7
Intensive careGeneral Fellowship exam
117
64
54.7
Paediatric Fellowship exam
6
5
83.3
Medical administrationOral Examination
12
8
66.7
Obstetrics and GynaecologyWritten
131
84
64.1
Oral
84
69
82.1
Occupational and Environmental medicineWritten
10
4
40.0
Practical
11
5
45.6
OphthalmologyRANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam
50
34
68.0
PathologyPart II Examinations
101
98
97.0
Public health medicineFinal Program ASsessment
23
16
70.0
Radiation oncologyPart II Written and Clinical Vivas
26
19
73.1
RadiodiagnosisPart II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
92
70
76.1
Rehabilitation medicineWritten
24
16
66.6
Clinical
26
16
62.5
Surgery(b)(c)Fellowship
215
197
91.6
Total
1,946
1,540
79.1

(a) These figures are for the Training Program route only.
(b) This is the annual pass rate.
(c) Includes 174 Australian, 37 New Zealand and 4 overseas trainees.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Table 4.25 presents the examination outcomes for the additional examinations that are required as part of some college training programs. The data covers Australian trainees only.

Table 4.25: Vocational trainees undertaking additional examinations: Number and proportion passing by medical specialty, 2009

Top of page
Medical specialtyExaminationTimeheldTrainees sitting Trainees passing Proportion passing (%)
Adult medicine(a)Written March
686
458
66.8
ClinicalJuly–August
575
442
76.9
Anaesthesia(b) Part I PharmacologyFebruary/April and July/SeptemberWritten 309 Oral 214
174
56.3
PhysiologyWritten 301 Oral 220
181
60.1
Dermatology Clinical sciencesMay/November
18
15
83.3
PharmacologyMay/November
17
16
94.1
Emergency medicinePrimary – Anatomy
315
224
71.1
Primary – Pathology
287
235
81.9
Primary – Physiology
326
251
77.0
Primary – Pharmacology
322
254
78.9
Intensive carePart IApril, November
19
6
32.0
OphthalmologyOphthalmic Sciences2 per year
23
18
78.0
Ophthalmic Basic
Competencies and Knowledge
2 per year
34
29
85.3
Advanced Pathology2 per year
26
26
100.0
Paediatrics(a) Written March
205
143
69.8
ClinicalJuly–August
176
127
72.2
PathologyBasic pathology sciencesApril
61
53
86.8
Part I
Psychiatry: Basic trainingCase Histories
306
237
77.5
Written
214
158
73.8
Clinical
168
108
64.3
Public health medicine(c)Part 11 in year
1
1
100.0
Radiation oncologyPart IOctober 2009 and May 2010
30
21
70.0
RadiodiagnosisPart I April 2009 and September 2009
81
21
25.9
SurgeryClinical Exam2 in year
123
106
86.2
Surgical Science Exam (Generic) 2 in year
126
106
84.1
Surgical Science
(Specialty Specific)
2 in year
238
188
79.0

(a) Candidates must pass the Written Examination prior to sitting the Clinical Examination. Candidates are required to successfully complete the Clinical Examination within a period of 59 months (five years) of passing the Written Examination. Candidates who do not pass the Clinical Examination within this period must again undertake and pass the Written Examination.
(b) Candidates may sit one or both subjects, but do not pass the Primary Examination until both subjects successfully completed.
(c) For Public health medicine this is the final year of the examination.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Trends

Tables 4.26 and 4.27 show details of the trend in college final examination outcomes over the period 2005 to 2009. There is considerable variation in the pass rates across years for some medical specialties. This data should be interpreted cautiously, due to the various college training requirements and changes to these across the years, and also due to relatively small numbers sitting examinations in some specialties.

Table 4.26: Vocational trainees who passed final or fellowship examination by medical specialty, 2005–2009

Top of page
Medical specialtyExamination 20052006200720082009
AnaesthesiaFellowship
193
183
233
197
189
Anaesthesia – Pain medicineFellowship
19
14
17
14
20
DermatologyFellowship Written
13
18
19
12
20
Fellowship Clinical
14
19
11
20
Emergency medicine
43
62
68
80
73
General practice
(a)RACGP Fellowship Exam
437
407
472
510
407
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
32
MSF
36
MiniCEX
37
MCQ
22
StAMPS
11
Intensive CareGeneral Fellowship exam
32
45
58
67
64
Paediatric Fellowship exam
3
4
5
Medical administrationOral Examination
4
9
11
10
8
Obstetrics and GynaecologyWritten
47
43
62
50
84
Oral
30
41
41
63
69
Occupational and Environmental medicineWritten
9
11
12
4
Practical
9
10
10
5
OphthalmologyRANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam
40
8
24
28
34
PathologyPart II Examinations
54
66
91
96
98
Public health medicineFinal Program Assessment
4
15
8
12
16
Radiation oncologyPart II Written and Clinical Vivas
20
17
15
21
19
RadiodiagnosisPart II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
47
73
59
65
70
Rehabilitation medicineWritten
21
25
21
15
16
Clinical
15
34
13
16
Surgery(b)Fellowship
148
155
176
199
197

(a) These figures are for the Training Program route only.
(b) This is the annual pass rate.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Table 4.27: Proportion of vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination who passed by medical specialty, 2005–2009

Top of page
Medical specialtyExamination20052006200720082009
Proportion passing (%)
Adult medicine
Written
70.4
72.7
67.1
..
66.8
Clinical
70.9
73.7
73.2
..
76.9
Anaesthesia
85.0
86.3
86.0
86.0
78.4
Anaesthesia – Pain medicine
79.2
70.0
100.0
70.0
83.3
Dermatology
(a)68.4
..
..
..
Written
..
78.3
79.2
92.3
83.3
Clinical
..
77.8
100.0
91.6
95.2
Emergency medicine
65.2
72.2
69.4
70.2
65.8
General practice
85.4
85.3
88.2
87.9
87.9
Intensive care
(a)40.5
(a)66.2
..
..
..
General
..
..
61.7
57.0
55.0
Paediatric
..
..
60.0
80.0
83.0
Medical administration
57.1
64.3
73.3
83.3
70.0
Obstetrics andWritten
55.3
65.2
63.9
56.8
64.1
GynaecologyOral
71.4
91.1
62.1
94.0
82.1
Occupational and Environmental medicine
Written
40.9
50.0
40.7
63.2
40.0
Oral
47.4
..
..
..
..
Practical
..
67.9
45.5
66.7
45.6
Ophthalmology
Written
77.0
..
..
..
..
Advanced pathology
76.9
..
..
..
..
Clinical
52.9
100.0
82.8
80.0
70.0
Paediatrics
68.2
69.7
67.3
..
69.8
Clinical
69.7
74.7
70.0
..
72.2
Pathology
85.7
98.5
92.9
97.0
97.0
Psychiatry
47.2
..
..
..
..
Public health medicine
50.0
78.9
50.0
80.0
70.0
Rehabilitation medicine
52.5
..
..
..
Written
..
75.8
67.7
79.0
66.6
Clinical
..
..
79.1
65.0
62.5
Oral
..
37.5
..
..
Radiation oncology
74.1
77.3
78.9
77.7
76.0
Radiodiagnosis
71.2
58.4
51.3
55.1
76.0
Surgery(b)
87.1
82.4
80.7
76.5
(c)82.9

(a) Final or fellowship exam only.
(b) These figures include IMGs sitting the fellowship exams.
(c) In 2009 the annual fellowship pate rate for trainees only (excluding IMG trainees) was 91.6%.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET