Medical Training Review Panel: fifteenth report

Medical College Examinations

Page last updated: 15 March 2012

This section provides information on the number of Australian vocational trainees who sat college or faculty examinations in 2010 and the number of trainees who successfully passed.

Current Data

Table 4.35 presents data on the number of trainees sitting their final or fellowship examinations and 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 4.35: Vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination: Trainees sitting and proportion passing by medical specialty, 2010

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Medical specialtyExamination Trainees sittingTrainees passing Proportion passing (%)
Anaesthesia
Fellowship
199
169
84.9
Anaesthesia – Pain medicine
Fellowship
19
15
78.9
Dermatology
Fellowship Written
21
18
85.7
Fellowship Clinical
18
16
88.9
Emergency medicine
115
76
66.1
General practice
RACGP Fellowship Exam
474
439
92.6
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
MSF
67
54
80.6
MiniCEX
44
34
77.3
MCQ
70
44
62.9
StAMPS
60
47
78.3
Intensive care
General Fellowship exam
110
62
56.4
Paediatric Fellowship exam
13
7
53.8
Medical administration
Oral Examination
29
25
86.2
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Written
148
95
64.2
Oral
89
77
86.5
Occupational and Environmental medicine
Written
9
3
33.3
Practical
9
5
55.6
Ophthalmology
RANZCO Advanced
Clinical Exam
27
17
63.0
Pathology
Part II Examinations
97
87
89.7
Public health medicine
Final Program Assessment
13
9
69.2
Radiation oncology
Part II Written and
Clinical Vivas
28
22
78.6
Radiodiagnosis
Part II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
91
61
67.0
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
29
21
72.4
Clinical
30
20
66.7
Sexual health medicine
Exit Assessment Interview
3
3
100.0
Sport and exercise medicine
Written
9
4
44.4
Clinical
4
4
100.0
Surgery
Fellowship
204
165
80.9
Total
2,029
1,599
78.8

Table 4.36 presents the examination outcomes for the additional examinations that are required as part of some college training programs. The data covers Australian trainees only.

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Table 4.36: Vocational trainees undertaking additional examinations: Number and proportion passing by medical specialty, 2010

(a) 2010 RANZCP clinical exams conducted under new format including amended scoring system and the ability for a pass in the OSCE component of this exam to carry forward to subsequent attempts.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Medical specialtyExaminationTime heldTrainees sitting Trainees passing Proportion passing (%)
Adult medicine
Written

721
492
68.2
Clinical
611
426
69.7
Anaesthesia
Part I Pharmacology written
March/April and July/September
363
Part I Pharmacology oral
249
204
56.2
Physiology written
394
Physiology oral
287
222
56.3
Dermatology
Clinical sciences
May-10
7
5
71.4
Pharmacology
May-10
20
18
90.0
Clinical sciences
Nov-10
19
19
100.0
Pharmacology
Nov-10
4
4
100.0
Emergency medicine
Primary – Anatomy
4/2010 and 9/2010
311
251
80.7
Primary – Pathology
4/2010 and 9/2010
303
234
77.2
Primary – Physiology
4/2010 and 9/2010
340
260
76.5
Primary – Pharmacology
4/2010 and 9/2010
315
247
78.4
Intensive care
Part I
25
13
52.0
Ophthalmology
Ophthalmic Sciences
2
24
13
54.2
Ophthalmic Basic Competencies and Knowledge (OBCK)
2
37
37
100.0
Ophthalmic Pathology
2
25
25
100.0
Paediatrics
Written
226
147
65.0
Clinical
199
134
67.3
Pathology
Basic pathology sciences Part I
April
32
27
84.4
Psychiatry:
Basic training
Case Histories
291
216
74.2
Written
203
156
76.9
Clinical
196
(a)99
50.5
Public health medicine
Part 1
Radiation oncology
Part I
Yearly
22
20
90.9
Radiodiagnosis
Part I
Twice Yearly
87
67
77.0
Surgery
Clinical Exam
February and June
174
153
87.9
Surgical Science Exam (Generic)
February and June
164
135
82.3
Surgical Science (Specialty Specific)
February and June
210
117
55.7

Trends

Tables 4.37 and 4.38 provide data on the numbers passing their final or fellowship examinations and how these vary as a proportion the total sitting each year from 2006 to 2010. Some specialties show considerable consistency in the numbers and proportions passing each year, while in other specialties there is marked variation from one year to the next.

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.

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Table 4.37: Vocational trainees who passed final or fellowship examination by medical specialty, 2006–2010

(a) These figures are for the Training Program route only.
(b) In addition there were 27 New Zealand and 1 overseas trainees who also passed final or fellowship examination.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Medical specialtyExamination 20062007200820092010
Anaesthesia
Fellowship
183
233
197
189
169
Anaesthesia – Pain medicine
Fellowship
14
17
14
20
15
Dermatology
Fellowship Written
18
19
12
20
18
Fellowship Clinical
14
19
11
20
16
Emergency medicine
62
68
80
73
76
General practice
RACGP Fellowship Exam(a)
407
472
510
407
439
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
32
MSF
36
54
MiniCEX
37
34
MCQ
22
44
StAMPS
11
47
Intensive care
General Fellowship exam
45
58
67
64
62
Paediatric Fellowship exam
3
4
5
7
Medical administration
Oral Examination
9
11
10
8
25
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Written
43
62
50
84
95
Oral
41
41
63
69
77
Occupational and Environmental medicine
Written
11
12
4
3
Practical
10
10
5
5
Ophthalmology
RANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam
8
24
28
34
17
Pathology
Part II Examinations
66
91
96
98
87
Public health medicine
Final Program Assessment
15
8
12
16
9
Radiation oncology
Part II Written and Clinical Vivas
17
15
21
19
22
Radiodiagnosis
Part II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
73
59
65
70
61
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
25
21
15
16
21
Clinical
15
34
13
16
20
Sport and exercise medicine
6
8
2
1
4
Surgery
Fellowship
155
176
199
197
(b)165

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Table 4.38: Proportion of vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination who passed by medical specialty, 2006–2010

(a) These figures are for the Training Program route only.
(b) Final or fellowship exam only.
(c) This figure includes overseas trained medical specialists who have entered the SET program. In 2009 the annual fellowship pass rate for trainees only was 91.6%.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Medical specialtyExamination20062007200820092010
Proportion passing (%)
Adult medicine
Written
72.7
67.1
69.9
66.8
68.2
Clinical
73.7
73.2
75.9
76.9
69.7
Anaesthesia
86.3
86.0
86.0
78.4
84.9
Anaesthesia – Pain medicine
70.0
100.0
70.0
83.3
78.9
Dermatology
Written
78.3
79.2
92.3
83.3
85.7
Clinical
77.8
100
91.6
95.2
88.9
Emergency medicine
72.2
69.4
70.2
65.8
66.1
General practice
85.3
88.2
87.9
RACGP Fellowship Exam(a)
87.9
92.6
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
MSF
80.0
80.6
MiniCEX
97.4
77.3
MCQ
64.7
62.9
StAMPS
64.7
78.3
Intensive care
(b)66.2
..
..
..
..
General
..
61.7
57.0
55.0
56.4
Paediatric
..
60.0
80.0
83.0
53.8
Medical administration
64.3
73.3
83.3
70.0
86.2
Obstetrics and
Written
65.2
63.9
56.8
64.1
64.2
Gynaecology
Oral
91.1
62.1
94.0
82.1
86.5
Occupational and Environmental medicine
Written
50.0
40.7
63.2
40.0
33.3
Practical
67.9
45.5
66.7
45.6
55.6
Ophthalmology
Written
..
..
..
..
84.0
Ophthalmic pathology
..
..
..
..
100.0
Clinical
100.0
82.8
80.0
70.0
76.0
Paediatrics
69.7
67.3
68.4
69.8
65.0
Clinical
74.7
70
75.1
72.2
67.3
Pathology
98.5
92.9
97.0
97.0
89.7
Public health medicine
78.9
50.0
80.0
70.0
69.2
Radiation oncology
77.3
78.9
77.7
76.0
78.6
Radiodiagnosis
58.4
51.3
55.1
76.0
67.0
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
75.8
67.7
79.0
66.6
72.4
Clinical
..
79.1
65.0
62.5
66.7
Oral
37.5
..
..
..
..
Sport and exercise medicine
Written
100.0
88.9
66.6
100.0
44.4
Clinical
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Surgery
82.4
80.7
76.5
(c)82.9
80.9

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