This article, written by KJ Farley 1st appeared in the CICM E-news in December 2015. KJ was a participant in the inaugural VPECC Teaching Stream Course.
The VPECC First Part Exam course is the first Victorian course designed specifically for candidates sitting the CICM first part exam. As a junior Intensivist at Western Health, trainees may come to me with questions about their training pathways and the CICM training requirements. The 'teaching stream' of this course was extremely valuable in increasing my knowledge of the CICM first part exam - which I (like most current Intensivists) did not sit - and will hopefully assist me to better advise and teach trainees facing this exam. The course included a section on 'tips and tricks' from examiners as well as recent successful candidates. This section was helpful in increasing my understanding of the types of questions asked, the depth and breadth of knowledge expected, similarities and differences from the anaesthetic first part exam, as well as the common difficulties faced by trainees preparing for this exam. The course also included mock VIVAs & written SAQs for the course candidates, which I was able to observe as a 'teaching stream' participant, again to better gauge the depth and breadth of knowledge expected. Throughout the course there was emphasis on the techniques which may assist with preparation for, and passing of, this exam. These insights will certainly assist me when advising or teaching trainees. In my opinion, this was an extremely valuable experience, not only for the candidates preparing for the exam but for people such as myself who are in a position to advise and assist trainees - but who did not sit this exam and hence may have little understanding of the expected standard of material & techniques required to pass. Thanks to all the speakers and the organizing team for delivering so much useful information in such a short period of time!