Critical Apprisal For FRCEM

Course directors 

Duncan Bootland (ED Consultant, Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust) 
Evan Coughlan (ED Consultant, Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust) 
Rob Galloway (ED Consultant, Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust) 

Background information

Critical Appraisal is a part of the FRCEM examination that has always been challenging for trainees.

We have written this critical appraisal course to make the confusing world of medical statistics understandable and clinically relevant. And most importantly help you to pass the exam.

We are three recent post CCST Emergency Medicine doctors, with an interest in clinical medicine and not in medical statistics. But we understand why it is needed and why it helps us to decide how to treat our patients.

The course is exam focused; the two days have three practice papers and tips on how to pass the exam. However, we believe in teaching an understanding of critical appraisal, rather than rote learning of formulae.

Although prior revision of critical appraisal will be valuable (as well as practice papers after the course), we aim to teach everything from basic principles up to a level necessary to pass the exam. The course is of benefit for those in the final stages of their CCST or just embarking on higher training, and wanting to do the exam early. It is also relevant for those about to start work on their clinical topic review and want to know what to look for when reading papers.

We have an over 85% pass rate. The course is approved by the College of Emergency Medicine and so if you do the course you may apply to do the exam early. If you would like to do the course for a second time we would give you a 10% rebate when you come to the course.

Read more about the history of the Critical Appraisal for FRCEM course.

Course contents

This is an intensive two day course, with long hours and lots of concentration needed, with the sole intention of helping you pass the critical appraisal aspect of FRCEM.

Although you will need to do further hard work outside of the course , everything you need to know for the exam is contained within this course booklet.

The best ways of revising is to get in groups, do practice papers under exam conditions and discuss the answers. The slides and handbook provides the the factual knowledge needed for this. Following this course you will have 13 practice papers to do – 9 in the practice papers book, 3 exams on day two and 1 paper in our free book critical appraisal from papers to patients that we give you

During the lectures, you will get the copy of the slides to make notes on and also the hand-outs, which the lectures refer to.

The slides contain all the slides which are displayed plus additional non displayed slides containing relevant information - this is to help you make notes during the talks. This is shown by a book in the corner of the slide.

At the end of the handbook is a glossary that has been written specifically for this course to provide answers and definitions needed for the exam.

The candidates are split into three groups and you will be taught in these small groups during the course.

The course is delivered into four sections:

Part 1 - An overview of critical appraisal
Same talk by three lectures

Part 2 - General review of studies
Three talks from different lectures that rotate around the room. (they deliver the same lecture three times). The talks are on:
What makes a good study?
All you need to know about statistics
Chance, effectiveness and error

Part 3 - Specific review of three types of key papers
Three talks from different lectures that rotate around the room. (They deliver the same lecture three times). The talks are on:
Diagnostic Trials
Randomised Controlled Trials

Part 4 - How to pass the exam
Lecture on how to pass the exam - same talk by three lectures
3 practice exams under exam conditions and then review of model answers. Three lectures rotate round the rooms to deliver the same feedback to each group. (They each deliver the feedback three times)

View more detailed course timetable.

We hope you have a very useful couple of days and it helps you pass FRCEM exam.