September 13, 2019

Exceptional result for Northern physician trainees

In the recent Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Basic Physician Training (BPT) clinical examinations, our Northern Health physician trainees (current med reg group) performed exceptionally well, with an overall pass rate of 88 per cent (37 out of 42 candidates) and a 91 percent pass rate for first time sitters.

This compares with the overall pass rate of 69 per cent Australia wide, and 76 per cent for Victoria.

Dr Edwina Holbeach, Northern Health Geriatrician and Co-Network Director, Central North West BPT Consortium, would like to congratulate the trainees on this wonderful achievement.

“We are exceptionally proud of all our trainees who have worked extremely hard, both in their exam preparation but also on the wards during the hospital’s busiest time of year.”

“I would also like to say a big thank you to our senior med reg – Madeline Cosgrave, consultants and advanced trainees, who volunteered hours of time to tutorials, coming in on weekends for practice exams and so much more. It has all paid off!” she added.

To become a specialist physician, trainees must complete six years of training – with the first three years considered ‘basic physician training’. There is a written and clinical examination that must be passed prior to commencing three years of advanced training.

“Our medical registrars have spent the last 18 months in gruelling preparation, firstly for the written examination and then the clinical. During this period, there is generally upwards of 15-20 hours per week in study on top of full time work!” Dr Holbeach said.

“Hospital staff would have seen the trainees walking around the wards with ‘briefcases’ full of equipment needed to examine patients.”

In July this year, Northern Hospital hosted the examinations, with interstate candidates and interstate examiners participating alongside local consultant examiners. Patients from the Northern Health community volunteered their time on examination day to ‘test’ cases for the candidates.

“Thank you to our patients for volunteering their time – we couldn’t have hosted the exam without them,” Dr Holbeach said.

This year, the Central North West BPT Consortium (Austin, Northern, Bendigo, Horsham) had 42 candidates sitting the clinical exam. The clinical exam takes months of preparation and many bedside tutorials, practice mock exams and specialty training days. The candidates had to travel interstate to have their clinical acumen tested over a whole day.

The future is bright for our trainees with Dr Holbeach finishing by saying, “We look forward to seeing our trainees proceed through to the next stage of their careers as advanced trainees here at Northern Health.”