“The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training
and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian Community.”
Australian Medical Council
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION
EXAMINATION
SPECIFICATIONS
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
“The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training and
assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian community.”
© March 2011
Edition 10
ABN 97 131 796 980
ISB
N 978-1-938182-07-5
Copyright for this publication rests with the Australian Medical Council Limited
AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL COUNCIL LIMITED
PO BOX 4810
KINGSTON, ACT, 2604
AUSTRALIA
Telephone: 02 6270 9878
Facsimile: 02 6270 9799
Email: amc@amc.org.au
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
Australian
Medical Council Limited
MCQ EXAMINATION SPECIFICATIONS BOOKLET
IMPORTANT NOTE
Candidates are advised to study this booklet closely before presenting for AMC examinations.
Candidates should note that the AMC is not involved in the administration of Medicare. Any questions
concerning Medicare Provider Numbers should be directed to the Australian Department of Health and
Ageing. Nor is the AMC involved directly in aspects of registration to practise, which is the responsibility of
the Medical Board of Australia (MBA).
Examination requirements may change. All matters concerning the AMC examination, including any
changes in the format and content or associated procedures, will be conveyed to candidates in writing by the
Secretariat. Candidates are recommended to regularly check the AMC website for updates.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
GUIDELINES AND SPECIFICATIONS .........................................................................................1
Introduction ...........................................................................................................................................1
Assessment Aims and Objectives .........................................................................................................1
Structure of the AMC Examination ........................................................................................................1
Standard of the AMC Examinations ......................................................................................................2
THE MCQ EXAMINATION ............................................................................................................2
Requirements of the MCQ Examination ...............................................................................................2
COMPUTER ADAPTIVE TEST (CAT) FORMAT EXAMINATION ................................................3
Commencing 2011 series .....................................................................................................................3
Delivery of the AMC CAT format MCQ examination....................................................................3
Review of items ...........................................................................................................................4
Scoring of the examination ..........................................................................................................4
Pilot items ....................................................................................................................................4
Content of the AMC CAT MCQ Examination ........................................................................................4
AMC blueprint of Computer Adaptive Test format MCQ examination – 120 scored items ....................4
Candidate information on Clinician Tasks and Patient Groups ...................................................5
Clinician tasks .............................................................................................................................5
Patient groups .............................................................................................................................5
Examination administration for AMC candidates .........................................................................6
AMC Score ..................................................................................................................................7
Scoring of answers ...............................................................................................................................7
MCQ Results .........................................................................................................................................8
Sample feedback sheet ...............................................................................................................8
Online MCQ trial examination and sample questions .........................................................................10
Topics covered in the MCQ Examination ............................................................................................10
Systems, regions and disciplines ........................................................................................................10
Glossary of Medical Terms used in Multiple Choice Questions ..........................................................11
Reference range for laboratory investigations used in Multiple Choice Questions .............................12
PREPARING FOR THE MCQ EXAMINATION ...........................................................................12
Review of topics ..................................................................................................................................12
Anthology of Medical Conditions ...............................................................................................12
Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions ...................................................................................13
Reconstructed AMC papers ................................................................................................................13
General preparation for the MCQ Examination...................................................................................13
Strategies for answering Multiple Choice Questions ..........................................................................14
A-type Questions (one out of five correct) .................................................................................14
Image or data interpretation questions ......................................................................................14
Applying for the MCQ Examination ...........................................................................................14
Conduct of candidates presenting for the AMC MCQ Examination ....................................................15
The AMC Computer-Administered MCQ Examination ........................................................................15
Request for duplicate copies of AMC results ......................................................................................16
TABLE OF
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GENERAL INFORMATION .........................................................................................................16
Change of Address .............................................................................................................................16
Further information..............................................................................................................................16
APPENDIX A ...............................................................................................................................17
Attributes of Medical graduates .........................................................................................................17
Knowledge and Understanding ..........................................................................................................18
Skills ...................................................................................................................................................19
Attitudes as they Affect Professional Behaviour ................................................................................20
APPENDIX B...............................................................................................................................21
Sample Questions...............................................................................................................................21
Image Questions .................................................................................................................................21
Sample MCQ Examination..................................................................................................................21
Correct responses for AMC MCQ sample questions ..........................................................................24
APPENDIX C...............................................................................................................................25
Glossary of medical terms used in Multiple Choice Questions ...........................................................25
APPENDIX D...............................................................................................................................26
List of suggested reading material for Examination preparation .........................................................26
Anthology of Medical Conditions ...............................................................................................26
Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions ...................................................................................26
Handbook of Clinical Assessment .............................................................................................27
Multi-station Structured Clinical Assessment DVD ....................................................................27
Suggested text books .........................................................................................................................27
Medicine ....................................................................................................................................27
Surgery ......................................................................................................................................28
Paediatrics.................................................................................................................................29
Obstetrics & Gynaecology .........................................................................................................29
Psychiatry ..................................................................................................................................29
General Practice........................................................................................................................30
Population Health ......................................................................................................................30
Refugee Health .........................................................................................................................31
Ethical and legal responsibilities ...............................................................................................31
Miscellaneous............................................................................................................................31
Journals .....................................................................................................................................32
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1
Guidelines and
specications
GUIDELINES AND SPECIFICATIONS
INTRODUCTION
These guidelines and specifications have been prepared to assist
candidates for the Australian Medical Council (AMC) examination. The
guidelines contain information about:
• the format and content of the AMC Multiple Choice Question (MCQ)
examination
• levels of clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes required to satisfy the
requirements of the examination
• the requirements and format of the MCQ examination
• the areas and topics covered in the examination
• preparing for the AMC examination
• sample question items for the MCQ examination
• suggested reading lists for the examination.
Candidates should study these guidelines in conjunction with the
current AMC publication Applying to the Australian Medical Council,
which sets out the formal procedures for the AMC examination. This
publication is available on the AMC website at http://www.amc.org.au/
index.php/pub/downloads/359-applying-to-amc
ASSESSMENT AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The AMC examination is designed to assess, for registration purposes, the
medical knowledge and clinical skills of international medical graduates
(IMG’s) whose basic medical qualifications are not recognised by the
Medical Board of Australia (MBA).
The MCQ examination focuses on basic and applied medical knowledge
across a wide range of topics and disciplines, involving understanding
of the disease process, clinical examination, diagnosis, investigation,
therapy and management, as well as on the candidate’s ability to exercise
discrimination, judgment and reasoning in distinguishing between the
correct diagnosis and plausible alternatives.
The clinical examination also assesses the candidate’s capacity to take
a history, conduct a physical examination, formulate diagnostic and
management plans, and communicate with patients, their families and
other health workers.
STRUCTURE OF THE AMC EXAMINATION
The AMC examination consists of two parts:
• a multiple choice question (MCQ) examination to test medical
knowledge in a one three and a half hour session containing 150
questions. The AMC MCQ examination is a computer-administered
examination.
• a clinical examination, testing clinical and communication skills,
of three to four hours duration, which is administered on a single
afternoon or morning. A clinical re-test examination, duration of one to
two hours, will be administered if required.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
MCQ examination
specications
2
The AMC examination is designed as a comprehensive test of medical
knowledge, clinical competency and performance. Both MCQ and clinical
assessments are multidisciplinary and integrated.
STANDARD OF THE AMC EXAMINATIONS
The standard of the AMC examinations is formally defined as the level
of attainment of medical knowledge, clinical skills and attitudes which is
required of newly qualified graduates of Australian medical schools, who
are about to commence intern training.
The goals and objectives forming the basis of medical education in
Australia, as determined by the AMC for the accreditation of medical
schools, are expressed in terms of:
• objectives relating to knowledge and understanding
• objectives relating to skills and performance
• objectives relating to attitudes as they affect professional behaviour.
The objectives (Attributes of Medical Graduates) are listed in APPENDIX A.
In undergraduate courses, these are assessed over several years in a
variety of ways, whereas the AMC assessment is conducted through a
MCQ examination and a clinical examination.
THE MCQ EXAMINATION
The MCQ examination operates as a pass/fail examination, with the pass
mark set at the level of knowledge required by Australian medical schools
for their final-year graduates.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MCQ EXAMINATION
The MCQ examination is a test of the principles and practice of medicine
in the fields of Adult Health - Medicine, Adult Health - Surgery, Womens
Health - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Child Health, Mental Health and
Population Health & Ethics. The majority of the multiple choice questions
reflect common clinical conditions in the Australian community. In order
to achieve a satisfactory level of performance, a candidate will require a
knowledge of:
• pathogenesis
• clinical features
• investigative findings
• differential diagnosis
• management and treatment.
Some questions in the MCQ examination will test basic or essential
knowledge and understanding of topics covered by the examination. Other
questions will require more insight and will test the candidate’s capacity
to distinguish between the correct diagnosis and plausible alternatives.
Questions may contain images of X-rays, electrocardiograms (ECGs),
scans, clinical photographs and other visual material.
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3
Computer Adaptive
Test (CAT) format
Examination
In general, the MCQ examination will test a candidate’s capacity for
reasoning rather than rote learning. The MCQ examination includes
questions which are regarded as critical to the safety or clinical outcome
or threat to life for the patient, or are based upon important common
conditions and one of:
A. Related to life threatening illness; or
B. Critical to safe practice (includes professionalism); or
C. Successful clinical outcome; or
D. Important aspects of public health
COMPUTER ADAPTIVE TEST (CAT)
FORMAT EXAMINATION
COMMENCING 2011 SERIES
A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) format of MCQ is a form of computer-
based test administration in which each candidate takes a unique,
customised examination. Research over the past decades has confirmed
the comparability between CATs and fixed length tests, but with CATs
requiring less than half the number of questions to obtain more precise
results.
The development and refinement of Item Response Theory and Rasch
models provided the theoretical structure and calibration data necessary
for building item banks on a common scale. Each test is created from
a common pool of previously calibrated questions and is automatically
equated to any other test drawn from that pool. A pass/fail point (cut score or
standard) is defined for the examination, and each candidate is measured
against this point regardless of the group of candidates with whom they
are examined, or the particular set of questions they are administered, or
when they take the test.
DELIVERY OF THE AMC CAT FORMAT MCQ EXAMINATION
In the CAT MCQ format examination, for each candidate the first question
is randomly selected from the item pool. If the answer to the question is
incorrect, the next question chosen is a less difficult question; if correct, the
next question is a more difficult question. This process is continued until
the last question is reached. After each response, the computer calculates
the ability estimate (“score”) based on all the information available and
obtained to that point. The precision of the ability estimate improves as
the process is continued because the questions are targeted to the latest
ability estimate of each candidate.
This mode of measurement is much more efficient than a traditional
examination where all candidates have to answer the same set of
questions. Some of the questions in a traditional examination will be too
easy or too difficult for some or all candidates sitting that examination.
Such questions are not administered to candidates in CATs since items
are selected from the pool of calibrated questions that match the ability
(knowledge and understanding) of each individual candidate, which is the
reason why a shorter examination can yield more precise results for all
candidates. Computer adaptive testing ensures that each candidate is
given questions appropriate to his/her knowledge and understanding.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
MCQ examination
specications
4
REVIEW OF ITEMS
In the AMC CAT MCQ computer-administered examination a candidate
is provided with a ‘review’ facility on completion of the examination, if
time permits. A candidate cannot go back to a question and change a
response during the examination (before all of the 150 questions have
been attempted) as the computer uses all the current information to select
the next question to administer. However, once the examination has been
completed and there is still examination time left, a candidate can go
back to any question and change any response. If a response is changed
from correct to incorrect, or from incorrect to correct, the computer will
recalculate the ability estimate. In other words the final candidate ability
(“score”) is calculated on the final response to each question.
SCORING OF THE EXAMINATION
It is important to note that the number of correct answers is not used
to calculate a candidate’s ability. Some candidates would have been
administered difficult questions whilst others would have been administered
easier questions – depending on the correct or incorrect answers to
previous questions. Therefore, if candidates have the same number of
correct answers, the ability of the candidate that answered the difficult
questions will be higher than the ability of the candidate that answered the
easier questions. The AMC score is based on the candidate ability level
and represented on the AMC scale.
PILOT ITEMS
Pilot items are non-scored items used to test and calibrate new questions,
which may be used in future examinations. In addition to the 120 scored
questions, each candidate will be administered 30 pilot items, which are
integrated through the examination content. However, it is important to note
that the final 20 items in the examination are scored items only, therefore
candidates are encouraged to pace themselves during the examination
[a timer-clock is included in the examination platform for each individual
candidate].
CONTENT OF THE AMC CAT MCQ EXAMINATION
The content of the AMC CAT MCQ examination consists of 150 A-type
MCQs [one correct response from five options] – 120 scored items and 30
[non-scored] pilot items.
AMC BLUEPRINT OF COMPUTER ADAPTIVE TEST
FORMAT MCQ EXAMINATION – 120 SCORED ITEMS
As distributed to candidates in a computer-administered fully integrated
CAT MCQ examination.
Patient groups
AMC CAT
MCQ
BLUEPRINT
Adult
Health
[Medicine]
Adult
Health
[Surgery]
Womens
Health
[Obs]
[Gyn]
Child
Health
Mental
Health
Population
Health
ITEM
TOTALS
ITEM TOTALS 35 25 15 15 15 15 120
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
5
Computer Adaptive
Test (CAT) format
Examination
An additional 30 pilot [non-scored] items are included in the examination
session of 3½ hours.
Each candidate receives 120 scored + 30 [non-scored] pilot items = 150
items.
CANDIDATE INFORMATION ON CLINICIAN TASKS AND
PATIENT GROUPS
Examination questions within the CAT MCQ examination are classified in
terms of both Clinician Tasks and Patient Groups, as follows:
CLINICIAN TASKS
Data Gathering [up to 23.5% of the scored items]
History taking, mental status examination, physical examination, laboratory
testing, imaging, other investigations, and clinical reasoning.
Data Interpretation and Synthesis [up to 29% of the scored items]
Interpretation and synthesis of gathered data. Clinical reasoning, problem
identification, setting priorities and risk stratification. Formulation of
differential and specific diagnosis, causes and associations with presenting
conditions.
Management [up to 35% of the scored items]
Education and health promotion, counselling, psychotherapy, drug and non-
drug therapy (including fluid and electrolyte therapy), surgical interventions,
radiological interventions, drug interactions and complications, cessation
of therapy, rehabilitation, palliative care, interdisciplinary management,
family and community care.
PATIENT GROUPS
A total of 120 scored items are selected from the AMC pool of items and
distributed across the following proportions based on the candidate’s
ability level.
Adult Health - Medicine [30% of scored items]
Adult Health - Surgery [20% of scored items]
These patient groups cover a broad spectrum of adult health and aged
care, and involve a sound foundation knowledge of the medical sciences
(physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology) and an understanding
of pathobiology and pathophysiology. They include developed and practiced
clinical skills (communication, history taking, physical examination,
counselling) an appropriate understanding of principles of treatment and
familiarity with current management strategies (investigations, procedural
interventions, drug and non-drug therapies).
Women’s Health [12.5% of scored items]
Gynaecology covers a broad spectrum of women’s health care, and
involves all principles of adult health as above. Obstetrics also embodies
these principles with the addition of the understanding of the basic
sciences as they apply to reproduction and the effects of pathobiology and
pathophysiology on the reproductive process (pregnancy, labour, birth and
the post-natal period).
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CONTENTS
MCQ examination
specications
6
Child Health [12.5% of scored items]
Child health includes developmental dimensions of children’s health
from fetal development and transition to extra-uterine life to the end of
adolescence, including growth, physical development, puberty and
intellectual development in normal and abnormal situations. Clinical
features and natural history of important conditions are covered including
basic pathophysiology of medical and surgical conditions including
recognition and management of developmental disability. Core clinical
skills and management of common and important conditions in a range
of settings (emergency, ambulatory, inpatient, convalescent) are included
covering medical, surgical and psychosocial interventions.
Mental Health [12.5% of scored items]
The assessment, diagnosis and management of psychological, behavioural
and mental disorders and illnesses and addictions across all age groups,
based on bio-psychosocial and cognitive principles. This includes history,
mental state features, investigations and co-morbidities, with management
to include the use of psychological/behavioural, physical, pharmacological
and psychotherapeutic interventions, with their risks and benefits.
Population Health and Ethics [12.5% of scored items]
Population health strategies are to improve the health of targeted
populations, and include screening activities, surveillance, vaccination
programs, population-level education, epidemiology and legislation or
disease management measures. Population health concepts may arise
in a range of health care settings and across all patient groups, and
will include health promotion and disease prevention strategies. Ethical
issues cover professional behaviour including boundary issues, patient
confidentiality, informed consent and impairment of doctors. Legal issues
embrace regulations covering the Australian health care system and the
delivery of best practice medicine.
EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION FOR AMC CANDIDATES
• MCQ questions in the AMC CAT MCQ format are the same as those
used in the current AMC MCQ examinations and published in the AMC
Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions
• All MCQs in the CAT MCQ examination are selected from the current
AMC MCQ bank.
• All MCQs are A-type format – one correct response from five. In A-type
questions, each question or incomplete statement is followed by five
suggested answers, or completions, labelled A, B, C, D and E. The
candidate must decide which ONE response is the BEST choice.
• Each question in the MCQ examination has a correct response.
• Marks will not be deducted for incorrect answers.
• The AMC CAT MCQ examination is administered by computer and is
not available as a written (pencil and paper) examination.
• The AMC CAT MCQ examination blueprint covers Clinician Tasks and
Patient Groups.
• 150 MCQs are administered over one session of 3½ hours.
• 120 MCQs are scored items.
Note: Population Health is not
classified by Clinician Tasks and
makes up the balance of 12.5% of
the scored items.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
7
Computer Adaptive
Test (CAT) format
Examination
• 30 Pilot [non-scored] items are integrated throughout the examination
content until the final 20 items.
• 30 Pilot [non-scored] items are selected from the AMC blueprint of
Clinician Tasks and Patient Groups.
• The final 20 items in the examination are scored items only.
• Candidates are expected to complete, in the 3.5 hour examination
session, all 150 items of which 120 items are scored items. Failure to
complete all 120 scored items in the AMC CAT MCQ examination may
lead to insufficient information for a reliable ability to be determined
and therefore a result on the AMC adaptive scale. The examination
result is recorded as Fail – insufficient data to obtain result.
• Items are randomized across the blueprint [fully integrated format].
• Candidates must pace themselves to provide review time, if required.
• A timer-clock is included in the examination platform for each individual
candidate.
• Candidates can flag [assign] items for review during the examination
but will not be able to return to these items until all 150 questions have
been answered.
• The review action is activated after the final question is answered.
• The results to candidates will be forwarded four to six weeks after the
examination.
Although the new AMC CAT MCQ examination and its associated on-
line scheduling procedures are substantially more sophisticated than the
current AMC MCQ examinations, the AMC does not propose to change the
examination fee for the CAT MCQ at this time.
AMC SCORE
The result of the AMC CAT MCQ examination is reported on the standard
AMC Scale with a score of 250 overall as the pass score.
A Mastery score is not derived – therefore Mastery items are not indicated
in the examination.
SCORING OF ANSWERS
The MCQ examination is marked by a national independent educational
testing centre on behalf of the AMC.
The scoring system for the MCQ Examination (A-type questions) is:
Correct response = SCORED
Incorrect response = NIL SCORE
Each question has a correct response. Marks are not deducted for incorrect
answers.
Each candidate receives a computer-generated transcript of their results
and feedback on their performance in the MCQ examination.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
MCQ examination
specications
8
MCQ RESULTS
Each candidate receives a computer-generated transcript of their results and feedback on their
performance in the MCQ examination. The expected date of dispatch of results is notified on the
AMC MCQ website.
SAMPLE FEEDBACK SHEET
PERFORMANCE IN THE AMC CAT MCQ EXAMINATION
Candidate Number: XXXXXXX
Candidate Name: XXXXX XXXXXXXXX
Examination Date: XXXXX XXX XXXXX
AMC Adaptive Score: XXX
Candidate Result: XXXXX
AMC SCALE
Distribution of Candidate Scores
(Scale indicative only. Does not reflect pass rate)
Your score
50
0 500
100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450
Passing score
CANDIDATE RESULTS
For comparative purposes, the range of candidate scores for the Australian Medical Council (AMC) Computer
Adaptive Test (CAT) Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) examination is shown in the boxed area on the AMC
scale.
DEFINITION OF THE AMC SCALE
The AMC required pass standard of 250 is indicated on the scale.
The AMC candidate's individual AMC Adaptive Score is indicated by the arrow.
Scaling of the AMC CAT MCQ examination is undertaken in order to maintain a consistent standard.
As indicated, the PASS/FAIL decision is based entirely on the overall score gained from completion of
questions in all Patient Groups.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
9
Computer Adaptive
Test (CAT) format
Examination
PERFORMANCE BY PATIENT GROUP FOR SCORED ITEMS
AMC CAT MCQ EXAMINATION
In order to provide feedback to candidates, all scored questions in the AMC CAT MCQ examination are classified according to the
AMC examination blueprint in terms of Patient Groups.
Candidate Number: XXXXXXX
Candidate Name: XXXXX XXXXXXXXX
Candidate Result: XXXX
This information, as a review of performance across the Patient Groups, is provided to assist in preparation for future AMC examinations.
PATIENT GROUP CANDIDATE PERFORMANCE
Adult Health — Medicine XXXXXXXXXXX
Adult Health — Surgery XXXXXXXXXXX
Women's Health XXXXXXXXXXX
Child Health XXXXXXXXXXX
Mental Health XXXXXXXXXXX
Population Health and Ethics XXXXXXXXXXX
DEFINITIONS OF CANDIDATE PERFORMANCE
Satisfactory Reached an appropriate standard in this MCQ assessment. To maintain adequate clinical capability requires ongoing
review in a clinical context.
Borderline Requires further and careful revision of topics in this Patient Group.
Unsatisfactory Performance in this discipline is clearly below a pass standard. An extensive and thorough revision of topics in this
discipline is required.
PATIENT GROUPS A total of 120 scored items are selected from the AMC pool of items, based on the candidate's ability level, and are
distributed across the following proportions. The approximate weightings for each patient group are indicated below.
Adult Health - Medicine (30% of scored item) Adult Health - Surgery (20% of scored items)
These patient groups cover a broad spectrum of adult health and aged care, and involve a sound foundation knowledge of the medical
sciences (physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology) and an understanding of pathobiology and pathophysiology. They include
developed and practiced clinical skills (communication, history taking, physical examination, counselling) an appropriate understanding of
principles of treatment and familiarity with current management strategies (investigations, procedural interventions, drug and non-drug
therapies).
Women's Health (12.5% of scored items)
Gynaecology covers a broad spectrum of women's health care, and involves all principles of adult health as above. Obstetrics also embodies
these principles with the addition of the understanding of the basic sciences as they apply to reproduction and the effects of pathobiology
and pathophysiology on the reproductive process (pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-natal period).
Child Health (12.5% of scored items)
Child health includes the developmental dimensions of children's health from fetal development and transition to extra-uterine life to the end
of adolescence. Normal growth and puberty, physical and intellectual development in normal and abnormal situations are important
components of this. The clinical features, natural history and diagnosis of important conditions are covered. This includes basic
pathophysiology of medical and surgical conditions in children and the recognition and management of developmental disability. Core clinical
skills and the management of common and important medical, surgical and psychosocial conditions in a range of settings (emergency,
ambulatory, inpatient, convalescent) are also considered essential components of the Children's Health content.
Mental Health (12.5% of scored items)
The assessment, diagnosis and management of psychological, behavioural and mental disorders and illnesses and addictions across all age
groups, based on bio-psychosocial and cognitive principles. This includes history, mental state features, investigations and co-morbidities,
with management to include the use of psychological/behavioural, physical, pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions, with their
risks and benefits.
Population Health and Ethics (12.5% of scored items)
Population health strategies are to improve the health of targeted populations, and include screening activities, surveillance, vaccination
programs, population-level education, epidemiology and legislation or disease management measures. Population health concepts may arise
in a range of health care settings and across all patient groups, and will include health promotion and disease prevention strategies. Ethical
issues cover professional behaviour including boundary issues, patient confidentiality, informed consent and impairment of doctors. Legal
issues embrace regulations covering the Australian health care system and the delivery of best practice medicine.
Examination questions in the AMC CAT MCQ examination relate to the AMC MCQ blueprint of three broad Clinician Tasks - Data Gathering,
Data Interpretation and Synthesis, Management - as outlined in the AMC MCQ Examination Specifications booklet.
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
MCQ examination
specications
10
ONLINE MCQ TRIAL EXAMINATION AND SAMPLE
QUESTIONS
The AMC conducts the computer-administered MCQ examinations
throughout the year, in centres within Australia and overseas. In order for
the candidates to familiarise themselves with the computer-administered
examination, an online MCQ Trial examination, consisting of 50 questions,
is available on the AMC website, http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/img/
exam/mcq/trial-examination#
Appendix B contains sample MCQs which reflect the format and
structure of questions to be used in the MCQ examination.
TOPICS COVERED IN THE MCQ EXAMINATION
The content of the MCQ examination is determined and set by the AMC
Board of Examiners prior to each examination. The following topics
illustrate the range of conditions and topics that MAY be covered in the
AMC MCQ examination.
SYSTEMS, REGIONS AND DISCIPLINES
1. INTEGUMENT / DERMATOLOGY May include: common disorders of skin,
dermatology, subcutaneous tissues; burns, wounds and wound healing,
plastic and reconstructive surgery.
2. HEAD AND NECK / ENT May include: ophthalmology, head and neck,
otorhinolaryngology, pharynx, salivary glands.
3. NERVOUS SYSTEM / NEUROLOGY May include: brain, cranial nerves,
cerebrospinal fluid, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, regional anaesthesia
and autonomic nervous system.
4. MUSCULOSKELETAL / ORTHOPAEDICS / RHEUMATOLOGY May
include: bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, physical medicine,
trauma, geriatrics, rehabilitation.
5. CIRCULATORY SYSTEM / HEART / VESSELS May include: heart,
circulation, hypertension, haemorrhage, shock, pericardium, great
vessels, peripheral arteries, veins, lymphatics.
6. RESPIRATORY SYSTEM / LUNGS / CHEST WALL May include:
respiration, mechanics of gas exchange and transport, lungs, bronchial
tree, mediastinum, chest, chest wall.
7. GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM / ABDOMEN / ABDOMINAL WALL May
include: digestion and excretion, oesophagus and diaphragm, stomach,
duodenum, small bowel, colon, appendix, rectum, anus, perito-neal
cavity, acute abdomen, liver, biliary tree, pancreas, pelvic floor, perineum,
abdominal wall, her-nias, inguinoscrotal region.
8. BREAST / ENDOCRINE SYSTEM May include: breast, pituitary, thyroid,
parathyroid, calcium, bone metabolism, adrenal, diabetes and pancreatic
islets, gut hormones, neuroendocrine interactions, metabolic responses
to injury.
9. FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM / OBSTETRICS GYNAECOLOGY
May include: female reproductive system, disorders of uterus, tubes,
ovaries, vagina, fertility, contraception, hormones, menstruation, obstetrics,
pregnancy, labour, abortion, eclampsia, obstetrical haemorrhage,
menopause, pelvic infection, vaginal discharge, pruritus, gynaecological
malignancies.
Note: This list is not exhaustive
and is provided as a guide only.
TABLE OF
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11
Computer Adaptive
Test (CAT) format
Examination
10. HAEMOPOIETIC SYSTEM / HAEMATOLOGY / BLOOD / BLOOD
PRODUCTS May include: blood cells, proteins, blood products and
transfusion, fat embolism, bone marrow and blood production, coagulation
and anticoagulation, haemolysis, haemostasis, bleeding disorders.
11. RENAL SYSTEM / UROLOGY / MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
May include: fluid and electrolyte renal homeostasis, nephrology, renal
function, urology, urinary collecting system, disorders of kidneys, bladder,
prostate, male reproductive system, disorders of testis, epididymis, penis.
12. MENTAL STATE / INTELLECTUAL FUNCTION / BEHAVIOURAL
PROBLEMS May include: mental deficiency, personality disorders,
psychosomatic and psychosocial problems.
13. MAJOR PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS / DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE May
include: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychosis, organic brain
disorders, alcoholism, substance abuse.
14. NORMAL AND ABNORMAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT / CHILD
HEALTH / PAEDIATRICS May include: genetics, embryology, normal
growth and development, errors of development, child health and
paediatrics.
15. NUTRITION / METABOLISM May include: metabolism and nutrition,
normal fluid and electrolyte balance and disorders, acid-base balance and
disorders.
16. INFECTIOUS DISEASES May include: bacterial infectious diseases,
parasites, viruses and viral disease.
17. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY May include: physiological regulation,
pharmacology and pharmacokinetic, psycho-pharmacology, therapeutics,
synaptic transmission, toxicity and poisoning.
18. CLINICAL ONCOLOGY May include: histology and ultrastructure,
disordered cell growth, degeneration, calcification, neoplasia, medical and
surgical oncology, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy.
19. CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY May include: lymph nodes and lymphatics,
immunology, transplantation, spleen and reticulo-endothelial system,
allergy, immune deficiency disorders.
20. CRITICAL CARE / ANAESTHESIA / EMERGENCY MEDICINE May
include: general, regional and local anaesthesia and analgesia,
consciousness, pre- and post-operative care, perioperative pain relief and
complications, trauma, emergency medicine, intensive care.
21. GENERAL PRACTICE / PUBLIC HEALTH May include: community, family
and hospital medicine, general practice, demography, statistics, public
health, informatics, social and preventive medicine, forensic and legal
medicine, health economics and ethics.
GLOSSARY OF MEDICAL TERMS USED IN MULTIPLE
CHOICE QUESTIONS
A glossary of medical terms used in the MCQ examination has been
prepared by the Board of Examiners as a guide to interpretation of
questions. This is shown in APPENDIX C.
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MCQ examination
specications
12
REFERENCE RANGE FOR LABORATORY
INVESTIGATIONS USED IN MULTIPLE CHOICE
QUESTIONS
The units used for expressing the results of investigations are SI units
which are standardised throughout Australia. The candidate is expected
to know the normal values and range for full blood count, common serum
electrolytes, glucose, CSF and microurine microscopy and culture. For
other estimations the value is given, the standard abbreviation for the
units followed, in brackets, by the reference range. The reference range is
appropriate for the age and sex of the patient described.
PREPARING FOR THE MCQ EXAMINATION
REVIEW OF TOPICS
The MCQ examination is a comprehensive examination of medical
knowledge and practice. The AMC recommends that candidates undertake
a thorough review of the major topics covered in the examination.
Candidates should familiarise themselves with the MCQ format. A wide
range of general texts is readily available on this form of examination and
its associated techniques. The AMC publication Annotated Multiple Choice
Questions also covers these aspects. To assist candidates, the AMC has
prepared a list of the major textbooks in common use in Australian medical
schools, which is set out in APPENDIX D.
Please note that some of the textbooks and websites listed in APPENDIX D
are intended to provide background reading on key topics and contain a
great deal of reference material. The questions in the MCQ examination
are oriented towards the more common clinical applications, differential
diagnosis and therapeutics. Accordingly, care should be taken when using
major reference type textbooks for revision. Many candidates find it more
useful to undertake a comprehensive review of medical journals, such
as Australian Family Physician, Current Therapeutics, Australian
Prescriber or any of the other journals in general practice medicine. These
journals contain useful review articles and summaries of the identification,
treatment and management of the more common clinical conditions in the
Australian community.
The AMC has prepared two major publications for candidates preparing for
the MCQ and clinical examinations.
ANTHOLOGY OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS
The AMC publication Anthology of Medical
Conditions has been produced not only to assist
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to prepare
for the AMC Examinations but also as an essential
tool for clinical practice. The publication lists over
130 Clinical Presentations of clinical conditions
and classifies them to assist in a problem-solving
approach to diagnosis and management.
It is essential for all doctors to be familiar with the
laws of the society in which they practise medicine
and the ethics that underpin medical practice. It
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
13
Preparing for the
MCQ Examination
is also important to understand the organisational aspects of medicine
in the Australian context. The Anthology of Medical Conditions contains
a separate section dealing with these important issues, entitled Legal,
Ethical and Organisational Aspects of the Practice of Medicine (LEO).
The publication is enhanced throughout with medical illustrations. The
publication is recommended for use in preparing for the AMC Multiple
Choice Question (MCQ) and Clinical Examinations.
To purchase the Anthology of Medical Conditions go to the AMC’s online
store at https://store.amc.org.au/
HANDBOOK OF MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
The AMC Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions
is a major publication designed to assist IMGs
prepare for the AMC’s Multiple Choice Question
(MCQ) Examination. It contains almost 600
Multiple Choice Questions drawn from the AMC
Examination banks. The handbook covers all
disciplines and clinical categories and contains
a complete multidisciplinary 150 question MCQ
paper.
To purchase the Handbook of Multiple Choice
Questions go to the AMC’s online store at https://
store.amc.org.au/
RECONSTRUCTED AMC PAPERS
The AMC is aware that MCQ examination papers which are circulated are
claimed to be accurate reproductions of AMC MCQ examination papers.
Candidates should exercise care when using these reconstructed papers.
The AMC has been provided with copies of these papers and has found the
question stems and responses to be incorrect. Candidates who base their
preparation on such reconstructed papers may have a distorted impression
of the format and content of the actual multiple choice questions used in
the AMC examination.
GENERAL PREPARATION FOR THE MCQ
EXAMINATION
Poor preparation on the day of the examination may heighten stress and
lead to an impairment of performance. The following approaches have
been found useful by previous candidates and may assist candidates to
prepare for and to undertake the MCQ examination:
• Avoid intensive study immediately before the examination.
• Try to get a good night’s sleep before the examination and avoid the
use of stimulants.
• Dress comfortably on the day of the examination.
• Have a light meal before the examination and avoid a large heavy
meal which could make you drowsy.
• Allow ample time for travel to ensure that you arrive on time for the
examination session.
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MCQ examination
specications
14
The following general instructions are provided to candidates for the MCQ
examination:
• There are 150 questions in the MCQ examination. Of these 150
questions, 120 are scored towards your total mark. You should attempt
every question.
• Read each question and the options/answers carefully. It is important
to pace yourself and to avoid spending too much time on one question.
STRATEGIES FOR ANSWERING MULTIPLE CHOICE
QUESTIONS
A-TYPE QUESTIONS (ONE OUT OF FIVE CORRECT)
Each question consists of a stem followed by five suggested answers
or completions. The candidate is required to select the best answer to
the question or the best response to the statement. A-type questions aim
to determine whether the candidate can differentiate the correct item of
information, procedure, treatment or so on, from the plausible alternative.
Answers or responses other than the single best answer may be partially
correct, but there is only one best answer or response to this type of
question.
The candidate must:
• read each question or statement carefully to understand what is being
asked
• read each option carefully and eliminate those which appear to be
only partially correct
• select the option that they consider to be the most appropriate answer.
IMAGE OR DATA INTERPRETATION QUESTIONS
In this type of question, an image, diagram, graph, X-ray, ECG or scan is
followed by a question or statement and five responses. The candidate
is required to decide which is the best answer or response. The aim of
this type of question is to test appropriate clinical material in the MCQ
examination.
In image and data interpretation questions, candidates may find it easier
to read the question or statement first in order to determine what is being
asked and then study the image or diagram. It is easier to find the specific
information in the image or diagram to answer the question or complete
the response if you know what is required.
APPLYING FOR THE MCQ EXAMINATION
Applying for an MCQ examination is available online via the AMC website.
To apply online for an MCQ examination go to https://candidates.amc.org.
au/login
For more information on How to Schedule for an MCQ examination view
the helpful guide at the AMC website http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/
img/exam/mcq#how-to-apply-for-mcq-examination-authorisation
TABLE OF
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15
Preparing for the
MCQ Examination
CONDUCT OF CANDIDATES PRESENTING FOR THE
AMC MCQ EXAMINATION
All candidates must comply with the instructions of MCQ examination
supervisors during examinations. Failure to do so will constitute a breach
of examination procedures and may result in action being taken against
the candidate concerned. Candidates are expected to conduct themselves
courteously in examinations, correspondence and personal contact with
examiners, employees or agents of the AMC. A candidate who does not
comply with the instructions of an MCQ examination supervisor, or whose
conduct is disruptive or is considered by the AMC to have been outside
the bounds of reasonable and decent behaviour, may be debarred from
continuing with the examination.
No books or examination material may be used in the AMC MCQ
examination. Candidates found to be giving, receiving or recording
information during examinations will not be permitted to continue in the
examination and may forfeit their eligibility to sit future AMC examinations.
Candidates are advised that NO mobile telephones, recording devices,
microphones or textbooks are to be taken into the examination. Mobile
telephones must be switched off and left in the candidate’s bag at the
allocated baggage area. Any candidate found contravening this regulation
will be reported to the Board of Examiners for possible disciplinary action.
Candidates’ family/friends accompanying them to an examination centre
will NOT be allowed into the examination area, and are reminded that the
use of mobile phones is NOT permitted. (Family members MUST not enter
the building of the examination venue.)
All AMC candidates should be aware that, under Australian law, copyright
of all examination materials rests with the Australian Medical Council. No
part of any examination may be reproduced, stored or transmitted by any
means.
Any attempt to reproduce examination materials will be considered a
breach of examination procedures and constitutes a breach of Australian
copyright law. The AMC Board of Examiners will investigate any such
breaches and the AMC may take action against individual candidates that
may include, but not be limited to:
• withholding or cancellation of the results of the candidate involved
• suspension of candidature for a period to be determined
• termination of eligibility to sit future amc examinations for the purposes
of registration
• reporting of breaches of examination rules to all state/territory medical
boards
• legal action to recover the cost of the examination material involved.
THE AMC COMPUTER-ADMINISTERED MCQ
EXAMINATION
As the AMC MCQ examination is computer-administered, the AMC and
the computer vendor will make every effort to ensure a smooth and orderly
examination administration. However, in extraordinary circumstances
Note: Whilst the AMC provides
examination venues to AMC
candidates undertaking the
examination process, the AMC
does not provide ‘prayer rooms’
for candidates on the day of
the examination. Candidates
are required to make their own
arrangements if a quiet place
is required; it should also be
noted the timing schedule of the
examination cannot be delayed
due to observance of religious
requirements. Candidates are in
breach of the examination process
if remaining in the examination
venue when directed to leave.
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MCQ examination
specications
16
beyond the control of the AMC, such as a significant power outage,
computer malfunctions or network difficulty, the AMC will take such
circumstances into account.
In instances where technical issues prevent a candidate from completing
the AMC MCQ examination under standard conditions, the AMC Board of
Examiners may review the results of the quality assurance procedures and
the statistical analyses of candidate responses, to determine whether the
results obtained by a candidate reliably reflect their true level of ability. The
Board of Examiners may also order a new examination to be undertaken.
No additional examination fee will be charged.
The AMC will NOT be responsible for any other costs associated with the
examination, including travel costs.
REQUEST FOR DUPLICATE COPIES OF AMC RESULTS
For reasons of privacy, the AMC will not send copies of a candidate’s
official examination results to anyone but the candidate. However, upon
request for duplicate copies of results, the AMC will issue candidates
with an application form, which should be completed and returned to
the AMC with the appropriate fee. It may take up to ten working days
before duplicate copies of results are forwarded. To obtain the form go to
http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/img/exam/forms
GENERAL INFORMATION
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
It is important that candidates advise the AMC promptly of each change
of address and/or telephone number. This will ensure that contact can be
made quickly with candidates as the occasion arises to notify examination
venue changes, rule or eligibility changes, or to confirm information
provided by the candidate on his or her application forms. Change of
address is available via telephone or by submitting a Change of address
Form.
To update your address and/or telephone details, you can contact the AMC
on +61 02 6270 9878. Alternatively to obtain the Change of address Form
go to http://www.amc.org.au/index.php/img/exam/forms
When advising of a change of address via telephone, you will be required
to answer some security identity questions. Upon completion of these
questions, your new address will be taken and updated on the AMC
system and a confirmation email will be forwarded.
FURTHER INFORMATION
If a candidate is in doubt about any aspect of the MCQ examination, he/
she should contact the AMC.
AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL COUNCIL
PO BOX 4810
KINGSTON, ACT, 2604
AUSTRALIA
Telephone: 02 6270 9878
Facsimile: 02 6270 9799
Email: amc@amc.org.au
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17
Appendix A
APPENDIX A
ATTRIBUTES OF MEDICAL GRADUATES
The goal of medical education is to develop junior doctors who possess
attributes that will ensure that they are competent to practise safely and
effectively as interns in Australia or New Zealand, and that they have an
appropriate foundation for lifelong learning and for further training in any
branch of medicine. Attributes should be developed to an appropriate level
for the graduates’ stage of training.
Specific attributes incorporating:
• knowledge and understanding
• skills and
• attitudes as they affect professional behaviour
are described in the list below.
Doctors must be able to care for individual patients by preventing and
treating illness, assisting with the health education of the community,
being judicious in the use of health resources, and working with a wide
range of health professionals and other agents. They must be able to work
effectively, competently and safely in a diversity of cultural environments,
including a diversity of Indigenous health environments.
The quality of each medical school will ultimately be judged by the ability
of its graduates to perform at a high level in the changing roles the
community requires of its medical practitioners. This requires a flexibility of
approach and a commitment to a lifetime of continuing medical education.
Medical courses should produce graduates who are willing and able to
develop further their knowledge and skills, beginning in the intern year and
continuing throughout their professional careers. Graduates must possess
a sufficient educational base to respond to evolving and changing health
needs throughout their careers.
In Australia and New Zealand, inequalities remain in the health status of
various social and cultural groups. Medical schools have a responsibility
to select students who can reasonably be expected to respond to the
needs and challenges of the whole community, including the health care of
these groups. This may include selection of students who are members of
such groups. The medical curriculum should also provide opportunities for
cultural education programs, and opportunities for training and provision
of service in under-serviced communities. A balance of rural, remote and
urban area health needs should also be reflected in the curriculum.
Australia has special responsibilities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people, and New Zealand to Māori, and these responsibilities should be
reflected throughout the medical education process.
Doctors work in a context in which the Indigenous peoples of Australia
and New Zealand bear the burden of gross social, cultural and health
inequity. Doctors must be aware of the impact of their own culture and
cultural values on the delivery of services, historically and at present, and
have knowledge of, respect for and sensitivity towards the cultural needs
of Indigenous people. In this context, beginning doctors need to be able to
relate the knowledge and understanding, skills, and particularly attitudes
set out below specifically to Indigenous peoples.
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MCQ examination
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18
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
Graduates completing basic medical education should have knowledge
and understanding of:
1. Scientific method relevant to biological, behavioural and social
sciences at a level adequate to provide a rational basis for present
medical practice, and to acquire and incorporate the advances in
knowledge that will occur over their working life.
2. The normal structure, function and development of the human body
and mind at all stages of life, the factors that may disturb these, and
the interactions between body and mind.
3. The aetiology, pathology, symptoms and signs, natural history, and
prognosis of common mental and physical ailments in children,
adolescents, adults and the aged.
4. Common diagnostic procedures, their uses and limitations.
5. Management of common conditions including pharmacological,
physical, nutritional and psychological therapies. A more detailed
knowledge of management is required for those conditions that
require urgent assessment and treatment.
6. Normal pregnancy and childbirth, the more common obstetrical
emergencies, the principles of antenatal and postnatal care, and
medical aspects of family planning.
7. The principles of health education, disease prevention and screening.
8. The principles of amelioration of suffering and disability, rehabilitation
and the care of the dying.
9. Factors affecting human relationships, the psychological, cultural and
spiritual well-being of patients and their families, and the interactions
between humans and their social and physical environment.
10. Systems of provision of health care in a culturally diverse society
including their advantages and limitations, the principles of efficient
and equitable allocation and use of finite resources, and recognition of
local and national needs in health care and service delivery.
11. Indigenous health, including the history, cultural development and
health of the Indigenous peoples of Australia or New Zealand.
12. The principles of ethics related to health care and the legal
responsibilities of the medical profession.
TABLE OF
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19
Appendix A
SKILLS
Graduates completing basic medical education should have developed
the following skills and abilities:
13. The ability to construct, in consultation with a patient, an accurate,
organised and problem-focused medical history.
14. The ability to perform an accurate physical and mental state
examination.
15. The ability to choose, from the repertoire of clinical skills, those that
are appropriate and practical to apply in a given situation.
16. The ability to interpret and integrate the history and physical
examination findings to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis or differential
diagnosis.
17. The ability to select the most appropriate and cost effective diagnostic
procedures.
18. The ability to interpret common diagnostic procedures.
19. The ability to formulate a management plan, and to plan management
in concert with the patient.
20. Communication skills, including being able to listen and respond, as
well as being able to convey information clearly, considerately and
sensitively to patients and their families, doctors, nurses, other health
professionals and the general public.
21. The skills needed to work safely as an intern, as outlined in the
National Patient Safety Education Framework developed by the
Australian Council for Quality and Safety in Health Care.
22. The ability to counsel patients sensitively and effectively, and to
provide information in a manner that ensures patients and families
can be fully informed when consenting to any procedure.
23. The ability to recognise serious illness and to perform common
emergency and life-saving procedures, including caring for the
unconscious patient and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
24. The ability to interpret medical evidence in a critical and scientific
manner and an understanding of the epidemiology of disease in
differing populations and geographic locations.
25. The ability to use information technology appropriately as an essential
resource for modern medical practice.
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MCQ examination
specications
20
ATTITUDES AS THEY AFFECT PROFESSIONAL
BEHAVIOUR
At the end of basic medical education, students should demonstrate the
following professional attitudes that are fundamental to medical practice:
26. Recognition that the doctor’s primary professional responsibilities are
the health interests of the patient and the community.
27. Recognition that the doctor should have the necessary professional
support, including a primary care physician, to ensure his or her own
well-being.
28. Respect for every human being, including respect of sexual
boundaries.
29. Respect for community values, including an appreciation of the
diversity of human background and cultural values.
30. A commitment to ease pain and suffering.
31. A realisation that it is not always in the interests of patients or their
families to do everything that is technically possible to make a precise
diagnosis or to attempt to modify the course of an illness.
32. An appreciation of the complexity of ethical issues related to human
life and death, including the allocation of scarce resources.
33. A realisation that doctors encounter clinical problems that exceed
their knowledge and skills, and that, in these situations, they need to
consult and/or refer the patient for help, in clinical, cultural, social and
language related matters as appropriate.
34. An appreciation of the responsibility to maintain standards of medical
practice at the highest possible level throughout a professional career.
35. An appreciation of the responsibility to contribute towards the
generation of knowledge and the professional education of junior
colleagues.
36. An appreciation of the systems approach to health care safety, and
the need to adopt and practise health care that maximises patient
safety including cultural safety.
37. A commitment to communicating with patients and their families, and
to involving them fully in planning management.
38. A desire to achieve the optimal patient care for the least cost, with
an awareness of the need for cost-effectiveness to allow maximum
benefit from the available resources.
39. A preparedness to work effectively in a team with other health care
professionals.
40. A realisation that one’s personal, spiritual, cultural or religious
beliefs should not prevent the provision of adequate and appropriate
information to the patient and/or the patient’s family, or the provision
of appropriate management including referral to another practitioner.
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21
Appendix B
APPENDIX B
SAMPLE QUESTIONS
This appendix contains sample question items which reflect the format and
structure of questions to be used in the MCQ examination. The sample
questions are provided as a representative sample only.
For the MCQ examination there will be a total of 150 questions:
• 150 MCQs are administered over one session of 3½ hours.
120 MCQs are scored items.
30 Pilot [non-scored] items are integrated throughout the
examination.
IMAGE QUESTIONS
In the AMC MCQ examination photographic questions may be included.
SAMPLE MCQ EXAMINATION
1. An infant develops jaundice 6 hours after birth. Which one of the
following is the most likely diagnosis?
A. Haemolytic disease of the newborn.
B. Umbilical sepsis.
C. Physiological jaundice.
D. Atresia of the bile ducts.
E. Neonatal hepatitis.
2. A women who is 16 weeks pregnant presents with symptoms
suggestive of a urinary tract infection. Which of the following is correct?
A. She should be assured that urinary tract infections are common
in pregnancy and require no treatment.
B. A midstream urine should be collected and the bacteriology
report awaited.
C. A midstream urine should be collected and a wide spectrum
antibiotic prescribed.
D. A self-retaining catheter should be introduced to promote free
drainage of urine.
E. A suprapubic bladder tap should be carried out to ensure the
collection of an uncontaminated specimen of urine.
3. A 45-year-old man develops weakness and wasting of the right hand.
Which one of the following is least likely to be the cause?
A. Old injury to the elbow joint.
B. Bronchogenic carcinoma of the right upper lobe.
C. Multiple sclerosis.
D. Syringomyelia.
E. Motor neurone disease.
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4. A 10-year-old boy presents with a history of central abdominal pain of
a few hours’ duration. On examination he has minimal tenderness in
the right iliac fossa and no abnormal ndings on rectal examination.
Which of the following alternatives should be carried out?
A. Arrange a barium meal/follow through.
B. Arrange to see the patient later on in the day for review.
C. Send the patient away with instructions to return if the pain
becomes worse.
D. Tell the patient to come back in a week.
E. Immediate appendicectomy.
5. A 65-year-old woman has a two-year history of mucous diarrhoea due
to a large villous adenoma of the rectum. She is also taking digoxin
and diuretics for chronic congestive failure. Which of the following
investigations would be the most helpful prior to surgery?
A. Serum chloride.
B. Serum digoxin.
C. Serum calcium.
D. Serum potassium.
E. Haemoglobin.
6. A 38-year-old woman, who had a subtotal thyroidectomy 8 years
previously, is again thyrotoxic. Which one of the following is the most
appropriate management?
A. Perform total thyroidectomy after preparation with carbimazole.
B. Radioactive iodine after preparation with oral iodine treatment.
C. Prescribe immunosuppressive treatment with azathioprine.
D. Control with cardimazole and then administration of radioactive
iodine.
E. Short-term treatment with beta blockers until remission occurs.
7. A patient, who has had three successive spontaneous abortions,
reached the twelfth week of pregnancy on the fourth attempt, when
she passed a moderate amount of blood with clots per vaginam
and complained of intermittent lower abdominal pain. On vaginal
examination, the cervical canal admitted one nger readily and
bimanual palpation revealed a uterus compatible in size with a
pregnancy of only eight weeks duration. The menstrual cycle had been
regular (5/28) before this pregnancy and the duration of pregnancy
calculated from the rst day of the last menstrual period was denitely
known. Which one of the following is the most likely diagnosis?
A. Threatened abortion.
B. Cervical incompetence.
C. Incomplete abortion.
D. Ectopic pregnancy.
E. Missed abortion.
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23
Appendix B
8. A primigravida patient at 34 weeks gestation presents with a history
of not having felt fetal movements for 24 hours. Which one of the
following statements is most appropriate?
A. She probably has an intra-uterine fetal death.
B. You should immediately arrange transfer to labour ward for early
induction labour, providing the baby is still alive.
C. She should have urgent antenatal cardiotocography (CTG).
D. She should have an ultrasound scan.
E. Urgent serum oestriol assay should be arranged.
9. A 5-year-old presents with a history of urgency of micturition,
occasional enuresis, and a slight, non-offensive vaginal discharge
for 3 months. She has had no vaginal bleeding. Examination reveals
some reddening of the labia majora. Which one of the following is the
most likely diagnosis?
A. Trichomonal infection.
B. Gonorrhoea.
C. Cystitis.
D. Foreign body.
E. Non-specic vulvo-vaginitis.
10. A 19-year-old woman, prescribed a triphasic oral contraceptive for the
rst time one month ago, complains of frequent spotting. Which one
of the following is the most appropriate management?
A. Increase the dose of oestrogen.
B. Increase the dose of progestogen.
C. Advise alternative contraception.
D. Continue the medication and review in two months.
E. Change to biphasic pill.
11. A 5-year-old boy is diagnosed in the Emergency Department as
having measles, the rst symptoms having started 2 days previously.
He has a 2-year-old sister, who has received the recommended
immunisation schedule. Which one of the following is the most
appropriate treatment?
A. Treat him symptomatically and send him home.
B. Refer him to the infectious diseases hospital.
C. Give him gamma globulin.
D. Give gamma goblin to the sister.
E. Reassure the mother that ‘he is over the worst of it’.
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12. A 67-year-old woman recently noticed a non-painful lump in the right
breast (see image). Which one of the following is the most likely
diagnosis?
A. Subacute mastitis with early abscess formation.
B. Advanced adenocarcinoma of the breast.
C. Early intraduct carcinoma with obstruction of ductal ampullae.
D. Severe brocystic disease of the breast (broadenosis with
multiple cysts).
E. Extensive fat necrosis of the breast.
CORRECT RESPONSES FOR AMC MCQ SAMPLE
QUESTIONS
AMC MCQ sample questions
Question No. Correct response
1 A
2 C
3 C
4 B
5 D
6 D
7 C
8 C
9 E
10 D
11 A
12 B
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25
Appendix C
APPENDIX C
GLOSSARY OF MEDICAL TERMS USED IN MULTIPLE
CHOICE QUESTIONS
The Board of Examiners has prepared the following glossary of suggested
definitions and, where appropriate, approximate percentages as a guide to
interpretation of questions.
Term Definition Approximate
percentage
Characteristic of, typical of, associated
with
Significantly more frequent than in the general
population; within the definition.
-
Uncharacteristic, atypical, not
associated with
Significantly less frequent than in the general
population; outside the definition.
-
Invariable At all times 100
Essential Indispensable 100
Necessary Indispensable 100
Requisite Indispensable 100
Always At all times 100
Never Not at all 0
Nearly always At almost all times >90
Almost always
The majority, many More than half >50
The great majority Very much more than half >80
The minority, few Less than half <50
Predominate The main element, in the ascendancy >50
Usual More than half >50
Unusual Not usual, less than half <50
Likely To be expected >50
Unlikely Not to be expected <50
Probable More likely than not >50
Improbable Not likely <50
More, less Greater or smaller in amount -
Most, least Greatest or smallest in amount -
Extremely common Almost always >90
Very common Very much more than half >80
Common, uncommon Preferably qualified
and used in comparison
to other options
Variable
Frequent, rare Variable
Often, seldom Variable
Can, may, possible To be possible, not impossible >0
TABLE OF
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MCQ examination
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26
APPENDIX D
LIST OF SUGGESTED READING MATERIAL FOR
EXAMINATION PREPARATION
ANTHOLOGY OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS
The AMC publication Anthology of Medical
Conditions has been produced not only to assist
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to prepare
for the AMC Examinations but also as an essential
tool for clinical practice. The publication lists over
130 Clinical Presentations of clinical conditions
and classifies them to assist in a problem-solving
approach to diagnosis and management.
It is essential for all doctors to be familiar with the
laws of the society in which they practise medicine
and the ethics that underpin medical practice. It
is also important to understand the organisational
aspects of medicine in the Australian context. The Anthology of Medical
Conditions contains a separate section dealing with these important
issues, entitled Legal, Ethical and Organisational Aspects of the Practice
of Medicine (LEO). The publication is enhanced throughout with medical
illustrations. The publication is recommended for use in preparing for the
AMC Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) and Clinical Examinations.
To purchase the Anthology of Medical Conditions go to the AMC’s online
store at https://store.amc.org.au/
HANDBOOK OF MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
The AMC Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions
is a major publication designed to assist IMGs
prepare for the AMC’s Multiple Choice Question
(MCQ) Examination. It contains almost 600
Multiple Choice Questions drawn from the AMC
Examination banks. The handbook covers all
disciplines and clinical categories and contains
a complete multidisciplinary 150 question MCQ
paper.
To purchase the Handbook of Multiple Choice
Questions go to the AMC’s online store at
https://store.amc.org.au/
TABLE OF
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Appendix D
HANDBOOK OF CLINICAL ASSESSMENT
The AMC Handbook of Clinical Assessment
publication is a comprehensive guide to clinical
medical practice in Australia. It is designed
around self-test clinical tasks with accompanying
commentaries and performance guidelines
reflecting best practice principles. The handbook is
the third in a series of publications prepared by the
AMC to support IMGs.
To purchase the AMC Handbook of Clinical
Assessment go to the AMC’s online store at https://
store.amc.org.au/
MULTI-STATION STRUCTURED CLINICAL ASSESSMENT DVD
The AMC in association with the Royal Australian College of General
Practitioners has produced a film of the Medical and Surgical Consulting
Skills components and the assessment of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and
Paediatrics in the clinical examination. The film takes the candidate through
each step of the clinical examination. It also provides a good introduction
to the general format of the AMC Clinical Examination.
To purchase the AMC’s Multi-station Structured Clinical Assessment DVD
go to the AMC’s online store at https://store.amc.org.au/
SUGGESTED TEXT BOOKS
There are many medical textbooks available and most of them are of
high standard. They range from quite short texts, which cover essential
knowledge, to long and comprehensive treatises which most people use
as reference books. The AMC has drawn up the following list, as a guide to
some useful texts. They are not intended as prescribed reading.
AMC Examinations are set on the latest editions of the recommended
textbooks. It is up to the AMC candidate to obtain the latest information.
Material contained in previous editions of the recommended textbooks, or
other unspecified textbooks, may not be correct and will not be used to
determine the result of AMC Examinations.
MEDICINE
Devitt P, Barker J, Mitchell J and Hamilton-Craig C. Clinical Problems In
General Medicine, 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2003, ISN 0443073236.
shop.elsevier.com.au
Edwards C and Bouchier IA (eds). Davidson’s Principles and Practice of
Medicine, 18th edn. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1999, ISBN 0443059446.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com/
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28
Braunwald, E. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th edn.
McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001. ISBN 0070072744 (hardcover). ISBN
0079136869 (hardcover, 2 volume set). ISBN 0071374795 (CD-ROM)
www.bookstore.mcgraw-hill.com/
Larkins R, Smallwood R. Clinical Skills: The Medical Interview, Physical
Examination and Assessment of the Patient’s Problems. Melbourne
University Press, Melbourne, 1994. ISBN 0522844677 (paperback).
www.mup.unimelb.edu.au
Lau L. Imaging Guidelines, 4th edn. The Royal Australian and New Zealand
College of Radiologists, Melbourne, 2001. ISBN 0959285415.
www.ranzcr.edu.au
Talley NJ, O’Connor S. Clinical Examination: A Systematic Guide to
Physical Diagnosis. 4th edn MacLennan & Petty, Sydney, 2001. ISBN
9780729539050,
shop.elsevier.com.au
Weatherall DJ, Ledingham JGG, Warrell DA (eds). Oxford Textbook
of Medicine, 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 1996. ISBN
0192621408 (set of 3).
www.oup.com/us/corporate/publishingprograms/medical/?view=usa
SURGERY
Tjandra JJ, Clunie GJA, Kay AH, Smith J Textbook of Surgery, 3rd edn
Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2005. ISBN 9781405126274.
www.wiley.com
Clunie GJA, Tjandra JJ, Ross H. MCQ’s and Short Answer Questions
for Surgery. Wiley-Blackwell, Melbourne, 1999. Paperback. ISBN
9780867930108.
www.wiley.com
Forrest AP, Carter DC, MacLeod IB. Principles and Practice of Surgery - A
Surgical Supplement to Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine,
3rd edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1995. ISBN 0443048606
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
Hunt PS, Marshall VC. Clinical Problems in General Surgery. Butterworths,
Sydney, 1991. ISBN 0409492132. This publication is out of print and only
available second hand
Morris PJ, Malt RA. Oxford Textbook of Surgery, 2nd edn. Oxford University
Press, New York, 2001. ISBN 0192628844 (three volume set).
www.oup.com/us/corporate/publishingprograms/medical/?view=usa
Williamson R. An Aid to Clinical Surgery, 6th edn. Churchill Livingstone,
Edinburgh, 1998. ISBN 044305603X.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
TABLE OF
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Appendix D
PAEDIATRICS
Hull D, Johnston D. Essential Paediatrics, 4th edn. Churchill Livingstone,
Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0443059586.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
Robinson MJ, Roberton DM. Practical Paediatrics, 5th edn. Churchill
Livingstone, Melbourne, 2002. ISBN 044307139X.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne, Vic.). Paediatric Handbook, 8th
edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2009. ISBN 9781405174008
http://www.wiley.com
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Australian
Immunisation Handbook. 7th edn. Australian Government Printing Service
2000. ISBN 0644475781
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/
Handbook-home
OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY
Beischer NA, Mackay EV. Obstetrics and the Newborn - An Illustrated Text,
3rd edn. WB Saunders, Sydney 1998. ISBN 0702021237.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
Llewellyn-Jones D. Fundamentals of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Mosby,
London 1999, 7th edn ISBN 0723431507. www.mosby.com Mackay EV,
Beischer NA, Pepperell R, Wood C. Illustrated Textbook of Gynaecology,
2nd edition, WB Saunders, Sydney 1992. ISBN 0729512118.
www.us.elsevierhealth.com
PSYCHIATRY
Gelder M, Gath D, Mayou R. The Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd edn,
Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0192625004 (paperback).
www.oup.com/us/corporate/publishingprograms/medical/?view=usa
American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn text revision. American Psychiatric
Association, Washington DC, 2000. ISBN 0890420254 (paperback); ISBN
0890420246 (hardback).
www.psych.org
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30
GENERAL PRACTICE
Murtagh J. General Practice, 4nd edn. Hardcover. McGraw Hill Australia
2007. ISBN 9780074717790
www.bookstore.mcgraw-hill.com
Murtagh J. Practice tips, 5th edn. Soft cover. McGraw Hill Australia 2008.
ISBN 9780070158986
www.bookstore.mcgraw-hill.com
POPULATION HEALTH
The following list provides a summary of guidelines on a range of Australian
population health topics. These are freely available online from the Heart
Foundation and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’
website.
Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (The Red Book) 7th
Edition 2009
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/redbook
Putting Prevention Into Practice - The Green Book 2nd edition
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/greenbook
SNAP: a population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general
practice
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/snap
National guide to a preventive assessment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/nationalguide
National Heart Foundation of Australia physical activity recommendations
for people with cardiovascular disease
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/cardiovasculardisease
Smoking cessation guidelines for Australian general practice
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/smokingcessation
The Australian Immunisation Handbook 9th Edition 2008
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/immunisation
National HPV vaccination program
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/immunisation/hpv
Diabetes management in general practice (16th Edition) 2010/11
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/diabetes
Absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment – quick reference guide
www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/A_AR_QRG_
FINAL%20FOR%20WEB.pdf
Care of Patients with Dementia
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/dementia
TABLE OF
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31
Appendix D
REFUGEE HEALTH
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/refugeehealth
Cancer Council’s recommendations for screening and surveillance for
specific cancers: Guidelines for general practitioners.
www.cancer.org.au/File/HealthProfessionals/CCA-Screening-Card-for-
GPs.pdf
ETHICAL AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Ian Kerridge, Michael Lowe and Cameron Stewart. Ethics and the law for
health professionals 3rd edition. 2009. The Federation Press.
The following list provides a summary of freely available guidelines on a
range of Australian ethical and legal topics.
Advance Care Plans
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/advancecareplans
Code of Conduct for Corporations
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/codeofconduct
Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers
www.austroads.com.au/aftd/downloads/AFTD_text_08-2006.pdf
Abuse and violence: Working with our patients in general practice
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/abuseandviolence
Intimate Partner Violence
www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/intimatepartnerabuse
MISCELLANEOUS
Therapeutic Guidelines from Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, North
Melbourne, Vic.
www.tg.org.au
Therapeutic Guidelines: Analgesic, version 5, 2007
Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic, version 14, 2010
Therapeutic Guidelines: Cardiovascular, version 5, 2008
Therapeutic Guidelines: Dermatology, version 3, 2009
Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology, version 4, 2009
Therapeutic Guidelines: Gastrointestinal, version 4, 2006
Therapeutic Guidelines: Neurology, version 3, 2007
Therapeutic Guidelines: Oral and Dental, version 1, 2007
Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care, version 3, 2010
Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic, version 6, 2008
Therapeutic Guidelines: Respiratory, version 4, 2009
Therapeutic Guidelines: Rheumatology, version 1, 2006
Management Guidelines: Developmental Disability, version 2, 2005
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Available in print individually or as a complete set in the form of an
electronic subscription (‘eTG complete’).
Manual of Use and Interpretation of Pathology Tests, 4.0 edn. The Royal
College of Pathologists of Australasia, 2004. ISSN 1449-8219. This edition
available on CD-ROM or online only.
www.rcpa.edu.au
MIMS Australia. St Leonards, NSW. MediMedia Australia Pty Limited.
Subscriptions: ISSN 10355723 (MIMS Australia Bi-monthly), ISSN 0725-
4709 (MIMS Australia Annual), ABNRID 000012656851 (eMIMS - CD-
ROM or MIMS on PDA (Personal digital assistant)).
www.mims.com.au
Australian Medicine Handbook, 11th edn. 2010 ISBN 0957852126.
Electronic version available via Australian Medicines Handbook website
www.amh.net.au/
I Feel Crook Doc” Language, Cultural Issues and Etiquette in the Australian
Consulting Room. S Reid. ISBN 0975682962 Second Edition 2006
JOURNALS
In addition to the major texts, journals should be read selectively, using
editorials, annotations and review articles. The following journals are
suggested as source material:
Australian Family Physician
www.racgp.org.au/publications
Australian Prescriber
www.australianprescriber.com
British Medical Journal
www.bmj.com
British Journal of Hospital Medicine
www.hospitalmedicine.co.uk
Current Therapeutics, Lancet
www.thelancet.com
Medical Journal of Australia
www.mja.com.au
New England Journal of Medicine
www.nejm.org/
“The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training
and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian Community.”
Australian Medical Council
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION
EXAMINATION
SPECIFICATIONS
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
“The purpose of the Australian Medical Council is to ensure that standards of education, training
and assessment of the medical profession promote and protect the health of the Australian Community.”
Australian Medical Council
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION
EXAMINATION
SPECIFICATIONS
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
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