Critical Appraisal Courses

Duncan Bootland, Evan Coughlan, Robert Galloway

It all started, as trainees in our Deanery asked those of us who had just cracked FCEM for some advice on how to pass the exams – especially the bit which flummoxes everyone – critical appraisal.

And so the three of us set up the course.   Rob Galloway was and still is a maths geek who did an A level in statistics and gets excessively excited by numbers; he wrote the initial template for the course. 

Evan Coughlan actually reads papers and not just the summaries and has a passion for looking at flaws in them.  He started by writing practice papers to use on the course.

Duncan Bootland, with his experience of running MCEM and FCEM courses at Bromley, professionalised the course and turned it into what it is today.

We have been running two courses a year since 2011, and in July 2012 it was approved by the College of Emergency Medicine. (i.e. do the course and you can do FCEM early) 

In January 2015, we published the only FCEM specific critical appraisal book, which is available on Amazon.  

We are proud of our how well the course has done – with consistently good feedback, over 400 candidates in the last 6 years, and very high pass rates of over 85%.

At present, we will be doing two courses a year, but due to demand may extend that.  It is just as valuable for those of you who want to do the exams early and/or get your critical appraisal skills up to speed for doing your CTR / Quality Improvement Project, as those who can’t risk delaying their CCT for want of understanding p-values.

We also feel that it is great benefit for non-training grade doctors who want to develop their critical appraisal skills in order to help them improve their shop floor delivery of care based on best available evidence. 

Duncan Bootland, Evan Coughlan, Robert Galloway
February 2017