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  1. Alastair McGowan
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, St James's University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF
  1. Correspondence to: Dr. McGowan, Dean of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine (mcgowns{at}

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The following article was initially presented at the Speciality Examination for Fellowship of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine. The examiners at that diet awarded it a high score.

It is reproduced here as an example of what the Education and Examination Board of the Faculty believe a clinical topic review should be.

The purpose of the clinical topic review in the Fellowship Examination is to allow the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate their competence in selecting a topic, formulating a question, conducting a literature search, appraising individual papers, analysing their content and reducing the material to writing.

Each applicant for the examination is required to submit two clinical topic reviews, each of about 2500–3000 words. The clinical topic reviews must be supplied with the other necessary papers at the time of submitting an application for entry to the examination.

Advice is often sought as to how much time a candidate should lay aside for the preparation of each clinical topic review and it is hoped that this excellent example will allow prospective candidates some insight in to the quality and volume of work that is required.

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