Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report

Medical College Examinations

Page last updated: 09 April 2014

This section provides information on the number of Australian vocational trainees who sat college of faculty examinations in 2012 and the number of trainees who successfully passed.

Current Data

Table 4.36 presents data on the number of trainees sitting their final or fellowship examinations and highlights the considerable variation in the pass rate 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 4.36: Vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination: Trainees sitting and proportion passing by medical specialty, 2012
Medical specialty
Examination
Trainees sitting
Trainees passing
Proportion passing
(%)

(a) RACGP examination segments can be completed over more than one year. Candidates completing their final exam segment in 2012, may have passed exam components in a previous year.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Addiction medicine
..
na
na
na
Adult medicine
..
na
na
na
Anaesthesia
Fellowship
280
229
81.8
Anaesthesia - pain medicine
Fellowship
28
22
78.6
Dermatology
Fellowship Written
21
17
81.0
Fellowship Clinical
18
17
94.4
Emergency medicine
191
116
60.7
General practice
RACGP Fellowship Exam
AKT
747
672
90.0
KFP
742
664
89.5
OSCE
704
651
92.5
(a)3 segments completed by 2012
718
643
89.6
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
MSF
54
54
100.0
MiniCEX
84
77
91.7
MCQ
86
70
81.4
StAMPS
108
63
58.3
Intensive care
General Fellowship exam
84
51
60.7
Paediatric Fellowship exam
13
11
84.6
Medical administration
Oral Examination
26
16
61.5
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Written
165
129
78.2
Oral
105
78
74.3
Occupational and environmental medicine
Written
13
10
76.9
Practical
11
8
72.7
Ophthalmology
RANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam (Written)
34
26
76.5
RANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam (Clinical)
34
28
82.4
Paediatrics
..
na
na
na
Palliative medicine
..
na
na
na
Pathology
Part II Examinations
103
92
89.3
Psychiatry
..
na
na
na
Public health medicine
Final Program Assessment
11
7
63.6
Radiation oncology
Part II Written and Clinical Vivas
30
19
63.3
Radiodiagnosis
Part II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
91
58
63.7
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
39
36
92.3
Clinical
40
19
47.5
Sexual health medicine
Exit Assessment Interview
0
0
0.0
Sport and exercise medicine
Written
5
4
80.0
Clinical
4
4
100.0
Surgery
Fellowship
311
190
61.1
Total
4,900
4,081
83.3

Table 4.37 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 4.37: Vocational trainees undertaking additional examinations: Numbers and proportions passing by medical specialty, 2012
Medical specialty
Examination
Time held
Trainees sitting
Trainees passing
Proportion passing (%)

(a) Trainees passing are those who sat at least one of the Ophthalmic Sciences exams in 2012 and passed.
(b) A change exam format was introduced in 2012 and these results reflect the Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) pass rates only.
(c) Public health medicine no longer has a Part 1 Exam.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Addiction medicine
..
..
..
..
..
Adult medicine
Written
Feb
760
531
69.9
Clinical
July
721
501
69.5
Anaesthesia
Part I Pharmacology written
February/May and July/September
450
..
..
Part I Pharmacology oral
311
256
56.9
Physiology written
508
Physiology oral
361
306
60.2
Dermatology
Clinical sciences
May
0
0
Pharmacology
May
23
20
87.0
Clinical sciences
Nov
0
0
Pharmacology
Nov
5
5
100.0
Emergency medicine
Primary - Anatomy
372
300
80.6
Primary - Pathology
368
283
76.9
Primary - Physiology
390
288
73.8
Primary - Pharmacology
376
274
72.9
General practice - RACGP
0
0
0
0
0.0
General practice - ACRRM
..
..
..
..
..
Intensive care
Part I
May and Nov
32
19
59.4
Medical administration
..
..
..
..
..
Obstetrics and gynaecology
na
..
..
..
..
Occupational and environmental medicine
..
Aug
6
5
83.3
Ophthalmology
(a)Ophthalmic sciences
2
36
30
83.3
Ophthalmic Basic Competencies and Knowledge
2
28
26
92.9
Ophthalmic pathology
2
30
29
96.7
Paediatrics
Written
Feb
232
163
70.3
Clinical
July
237
156
65.8
Palliative medicine
..
Pathology
Basic pathology sciences
April
31
24
77.4
Part 1
May/August
141
97
68.8
Psychiatry: Basic training
Case Histories
288
221
76.7
Written
229
160
69.9
(b)Clinical
159
126
79.2
Public health medicine
Part 1
(c)na
(c)na
(c)na
Radiation oncology
Part 1
Once
21
18
85.7
Radiodiagnosis
Part 1
Twice Yearly
104
76
73.0
Rehabilitation medicine
..
..
..
..
..
Sexual health medicine
..
..
0
0
..
Sport and exercise medicine
na
na
0
0
..
Surgery
Clinical Exam
May and September
237
204
86.1
Surgical Science Exam (Generic)
May and September
259
201
77.6
Surgical Science (Specialty Specific)
May and September
329
172
52.3

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Trends

Table 4.38 and Table 4.39 provide data on the numbers passing their final or fellowship examinations and how these vary as a proportion of the total sitting each year from 2008 to 2012. Some specialties show considerable variation from one year to the next in the numbers and proportions passing each year.

This data should be interpreted cautiously, due to various college training requirements and changes to these across the years, and also due to relatively small numbers sitting examinations in some specialties.


Table 4.38: Vocational trainees who passed final or fellowship examination by medical specialty, 2008–2012
Medical specialty
Examination
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012

(a) Excludes international medical graduates.
(b) These figures are for the Training Program route only.
(c) In addition there were 27 New Zealand trainees and 1 overseas trainee who also passed final or fellowship examination.
(d) There are two components to this examination and both must be passed to progress. The figure of 23 represents those that passed both components.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Anaesthesia
Fellowship
197
189
169
176
229
Anaesthesia - pain medicine
Fellowship
14
20
15
23
22
Dermatology
Fellowship Written
12
20
18
20
17
Fellowship Clinical
11
20
16
19
17
Emergency medicine
80
73
76
83
116
General practice
(b)RACGP Fellowship Exam
510
407
439
553
643
AKT
..
..
..
..
672
KFP
..
..
..
..
664
OSCE
..
..
..
..
651
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
32
..
..
..
..
MSF
..
36
54
55
54
MiniCEX
..
37
34
57
77
MCQ
..
22
44
74
70
StAMPS
..
11
47
35
63
Intensive care
General Fellowship exam
67
64
62
61
51
Paediatric Fellowship exam
4
5
7
5
11
Medical administration
Oral Examination
10
8
25
8
16
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Written
50
84
95
61
129
Oral
63
69
77
77
78
Occupational and environmental medicine
Written
12
4
3
5
10
Practical
10
5
5
5
8
Ophthalmology
RANZCO Advanced Clinical Exam
28
34
17
30
(d)23
Pathology
Part II Examinations
96
98
87
93
92
Public health medicine
Final Program Assessment
12
16
9
7
7
Radiation oncology
Part II Written and Clinical Vivas
21
19
22
19
19
Radiodiagnosis
Part II FRANZCR Examination Written and Vivas
65
70
61
64
58
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
15
16
21
15
36
Clinical
13
16
20
20
19
Sexual health medicine
..
..
..
2
0
Sport and exercise medicine
2
1
4
4
4
Surgery(a)
Fellowship
199
197
(c)165
178
190

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Table 4.39: Proportion of vocational trainees sitting a final or fellowship examination who passed by medical specialty, 2008–2012
Medical specialty
Examination
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Proportion passing (%)

(a) Exam results for adult and paediatric medicine refer to the basic training written and clinical exams.
(b) Excludes international medical graduates.
(c) These figures are for the Training Program route only.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET

Adult medicine(a)
Written
69.9
66.8
68.2
68.7
69.9
Clinical
75.9
76.9
69.7
70.4
69.5
Anaesthesia
86.0
78.4
84.9
76.9
81.8
Anaesthesia - pain medicine
70.0
83.3
78.9
82.0
78.6
Dermatology
Written
92.3
83.3
85.7
83.3
81.0
Clinical
91.6
95.2
88.9
95.0
94.4
Emergency medicine
70.2
65.8
66.1
62.9
60.7
General practice
87.9
..
..
..
..
(c)RACGP Fellowship Exam
..
87.9
92.6
87.2
89.6
ACRRM Fellowship Exam
..
..
..
..
..
MSF
..
80.0
80.6
62.5
100.0
MiniCEX
..
97.4
77.3
87.6
92.0
MCQ
..
64.7
62.9
77.0
81.0
StAMPS
..
64.7
78.3
43.2
58.0
Intensive care
General
57.0
55.0
56.4
56.0
60.7
Paediatric
80.0
83.0
53.8
50.0
84.6
Medical administration
83.3
70.0
86.2
36.0
61.5
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Written
56.8
64.1
64.2
44.5
78.2
Oral
94.0
82.1
86.5
76.2
74.3
Occupational and environmental medicine
Written
63.2
40.0
33.3
38.5
76.9
Practical
66.7
45.6
55.6
45.5
72.7
Ophthalmology
Written
..
..
84.0
78.9
76.5
Clinical
80.0
70.0
76.0
81.6
82.4
Paediatrics(a)
Written
68.4
69.8
65.0
71.2
70.3
Clinical
75.1
72.2
67.3
67.5
65.8
Pathology
97.0
97.0
89.7
90.0
89.3
Psychiatry
na
na
na
na
na
Public health medicine
80.0
70.0
69.2
54.0
63.6
Radiation oncology
77.7
76.0
78.6
76.0
63.3
Radiodiagnosis
55.1
76.0
67.0
76.2
63.7
Rehabilitation medicine
Written
79.0
66.6
72.4
58.0
92.3
Clinical
65.0
62.5
66.7
69.0
47.5
Sexual health medicine
..
..
2.0
66.0
na
Sport and exercise
Written
66.6
100.0
44.4
66.7
80.0
medicine
Clinical
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Surgery(b)
76.5
91.6
80.9
65.7
61.1