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AMA calls for strengthening of examination accreditation

Another exam failure earlier this month has led to trainee distress and stress. The AMA says there must be contingency plans in place to counter examination problems.  

The AMA is concerned about the ongoing difficulties Specialist Medical Colleges are having with examination processes both during and prior to the pandemic. Most recently the failure of the RACP Divisional Written Examination on 14 February affected over 100 trainees in Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand.  

The RACP has said the trainees will be able to resit the exam on 8 March.   

The AMA Federal Council of Doctors in Training (CDT) has received feedback from many RACP trainee members about the significant distress the exam failure and disruption has caused.   

One-off, high-stake barrier examinations are extremely stressful and take up to a year of personal and professional sacrifice. It is extremely disappointing for both trainees and supervisors that ongoing difficulties arise with virtual/online examination platforms with insufficient contingency planning in place.  

This has been an issue for many of the Colleges in the last 24 months. The AMA is calling on the Specialist Medical Colleges to learn from past experiences, share successes and failures, and work collaboratively to improve education and training to ensure this does not continue to be a regular occurrence.  

In this third year of the pandemic, it is hard to see why robust contingency plans for disruptions to examinations and progression through training are still not in place and communicated to trainees sitting examinations. 

The AMACDT raised these issues at the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges meeting on 17 February and will discuss with the Australian Medical Council how improvements in this area can be strengthened as part of the process for accreditation of specialist education and training programs. 

At the most recent AMACDT Trainee Forum, held on 2 February, which was composed of the 16 College Trainee Committee Chairs and Representatives, the AMA also reinforced the importance of robust contingency plans for examinations and stressed the importance of working collaboratively.  

The full communique can be read here

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