These tips were compiled by the RACP Training Support Unit, taking into consideration available resources and speaking with trainees who passed the Fellowship Written Examination and MEQ Paper, and their supervisors.
This is not intended as formal advice and is provided as general information only.
Meet regularly with your trainee
Most successful candidates start preparing 10 to 12 months before the examination. Offer your support as early as possible.
Set up regular weekly or fortnightly meetings with your trainee. These meetings are an opportunity for you to share your insights, and to answer your trainee’s questions. Share your valuable insights and ask the trainee to write them down. These sessions can also be used as a combination of revising a specific topic such as spinal cord injury and going through past examinations papers.
The Improving Performance Action Plan template can be used to guide your conversation and the trainee should also determine content to be covered.
We recommend regular meetings with your trainee to review your plan. For example, once a week you could go through a topic for an hour to make sure you have a good understanding of this topic. You could also ask your supervisor or a colleague to share trial case studies and cross-reference them with the AFRM Curriculum.
Health and wellbeing
This is important because it is a factor that has been consistently identified by trainees who have passed the examination. RACP is committed to the health and wellbeing on all our trainees and fellows. We recommend encouraging trainees to plan time in their schedules to look after their health and wellbeing in the lead up to their examinations.
If you know that a trainee is struggling with preparation or anxiety please encourage them to seek support from an educational psychologist or the RACP Support Program
Referring to the Rehabilitation Medicine Training Program Curriculum and Knowledge Resources
There are many resources available to help trainees including sample questions, social media groups, apps, webinars, podcasts, journals and textbooks.
We also recommend reviewing the list of Rehabilitation Medicine Resources with your trainees.
We recommend referring to the Knowledge Resources and the Learning Objects tables listed in the Rehabilitation Medicine (General) Advanced Training Curriculum and highlight priority areas for review. This curriculum outlines the broad concepts, related learning objectives and the associated theoretical knowledge, clinical skills, attitudes and behaviours required and commonly used by rehabilitation medicine physicians.
We also recommend reviewing the list of Rehabilitation Medicine Resources with trainees.
Implementing strategies to improve your trainee’s performance
Recommend to the trainees that they:
- write a summary for each topic while thinking about what could be asked on the topic
- review previous examination questions with you
- practice answering questions under examination conditions and then review and discuss their answers with you
- understand the overall concepts and content of the curriculum and prepare a list of specific details to review in the last few weeks before the exam
- join a supportive study group that meets regularly and shares notes, resources and ideas as this provides an environment conducive to constructive feedback
- get feedback from allied health professionals who can also share knowledge and resources that might be helpful to trainees.
- Ensure trainees review key areas of the Rehabilitation Medicine (General) Advanced Training Curriculum. Highlight areas for further follow up to help direct study effectively.
- AFRM Supervisors and trainees can access the AFRM FWE Adult MEQ example questions to help prepare trainees with their next attempt and to better understand the structure of the MEQ paper.
- Trainees can link to a multitude of useful resources including journals, podcasts, webinars and more in the RACP Resources section of the RACP website.
- The AFRM Bi-National training Program sessions are conducted to provide trainees with knowledge and information regarding Rehabilitation Medicine.
- The RACP Events pages on the website lists lectures, video conferences and other events that might support trainees’ study.
- The RACP Support Program is an initiative introduced by the RACP to provide members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues. Anxiety about the examination is understandable and having an opportunity to debrief can be helpful. It is free for all RACP members for up to four sessions a year.
- The RACP Trainees’ Facebook Group is designed to provide a space for trainees to meet and share their experiences, tips, events and ideas as well as receive trainee-relevant material from the RACP. This closed page is only accessible to RACP trainees and they will need to provide their MIN to join.
Other Rehabilitation Medicine Resources
These are suggested resources only and their inclusion on this list should not be interpreted as an RACP endorsement.
There are some interesting apps that can help to create, collate and organise study notes, flashcards and mind maps for revision.
Some free examples are:
- Examtime (now GoConqr) - an online learning platform that gives you the tools you need to prepare, study and succeed.
- StudyBlue - make and share study materials, search for recommended study content from classmates, track progress, set reminders, and create custom quizzes.
- Anki - Powerful, intelligent flash cards.
Encourage trainees to try new approaches to study. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental techniques to help you master tough subjects is a free on-line learning module offered on the education platform, Coursera. It covers the latest research on learning techniques and strategies that can assist learners to learn more effectively while studying.
There are some great textbooks that have been recommended by previous successful candidates that assisted them when preparing for the examination which are:
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice, Two Volume Set - Joel Delissa
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation fifth edition - Braddom’s
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board Review, Third Edition - Dr. Sara Cuccurullo MD ‘The Red Book’
- Practical Manual of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2nd edition - Jackson C. Tan