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Survey of trainee attitudes to preparation for and participation in the FCEM examination
  1. Jamie G Cooper1,
  2. Elaine Rutherford1,
  3. Wayne Hamer2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jamie G Cooper, Department of Emergency Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, UK; jamie.cooper2{at}


Introduction and aims In the UK, specialist trainees in emergency medicine are required to pass the Fellowship of the College of Emergency Medicine (FCEM). This examination assesses clinical knowledge, attitudes and skills, management principles, critical appraisal, and the ability to search medical literature and synthesise information. The aims of this study were to ascertain what resources trainees felt were most valuable in preparation for the FCEM and to obtain trainee feedback on the running of the FCEM.

Methods A questionnaire was developed in conjunction with the TSC into nine parts covering all aspects of preparation for and experience of sitting the FCEM. Email addresses of those trainees who had sat the FCEM examination in 2006 and 2007 were provided by the CEM and questionnaires were sent electronically to recipients. Responses were collated and analysed using Microsoft Excel.

Results There was a response rate of 42% (86/203), of whom about three-quarters felt well prepared for the FCEM. The most highly valued resources for exam preparation were practice questions, private study and small group work. A yearly mock FCEM examination was felt to be important by those who had such access and local trainer involvement in exam preparation was perceived significant for success.

Conclusions Training programmes should make sure that facilities and expertise are available at a local level to allow trainees to have access to everything that is considered important in order to pass the FCEM.

  • Education
  • emergency care systems
  • emergency departments
  • training
  • assessment
  • neurology
  • headache
  • abdomen non-trauma
  • admission avoidance
  • anaesthesia
  • arrhythmia
  • acute myocardial infarct
  • acute coronary syndrome

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  • Competing interests There are no competing interests with regard to any of the authors though Wayne Hamer has served as Chairman of the Training Standards Committee of the College of Emergency Medicine.

  • Ethics approval This was a survey of Emergency Medicine Trainees and was authorised by the Training Standards Committee of the College of Emergency Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.