Does the new fellowship examination format ensure a sufficient standard for FACEMs? No
Date of this Version
In 2015, ACEM instituted changes to the Fellowship Examination (FEx) following a 3 year period of curriculum revision. This revision encompassed changes to training and assessment, including examinations, workplacebased assessment and in-training assessment. A rise in the passing rate for the FEx in 2015 compared with previous years has stimulated commentary that this must mean a ‘lower standard’ for FACEMs, and by implication, poorer care for patients. This article examines the assumptions inherent in that position and proposes a different approach to physician performance assessment. The ‘sharp end’ of any educational programme is the assessment process and outcomes. In medical specialty certifying examinations, these outcomes are high stakes for candidates’ careers and finances. These outcomes also affect those already qualified as FACEMs by increasing competition for jobs. Controversy is likely to follow.
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