FFICM Exam Revision - Some top tips!


This is a summary of how I approached the exam to give you a bit of an idea of what to expect, and how to go about revising. 


Many of the MCQs and viva/OSCE questions are similar to the FRCA exam, so those of you coming from the anaesthetic exams probably already have a bit of an advantage (which I know is not everyone). As with all MCQ exams, doing previous questions is a great way of learning- shame there aren’t that many about! However, there are a few sources- the most important I would say is covering the Final FRCA past questions that are ICU related- it can easily be accessed through the eLA website (http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/anaesthesia 

The book by Steve Bennington- multiple choice questions in intensive care medicine is also a useful, gentle start. They are quite clinically based, and aimed more at EDIC type questions but worth a read. 

The other source of info is the PACT website- www.pact.esicm.org.

You have to join the ESICM which is about 100 Euros, but it was really useful and there were lots of mcq’s to use. 

I bought the oxford desktop of critical care, which was ‘the book’ for DICM. There were definitely questions obviously from this book, which appeared in both parts of the exam.

Continuing education in anaesthesia, critical care and pain is always good for the ICU articles and mcq’s. Anaesthesia tutorial of the week (on AAGBI website now) is also a useful resource. Look at http://www.criticalcarereviews.com, has really good and important papers to review. 

Definitely read ‘critical eye’ on the FICM website. www.ficm.ac.uk. Tells you what people have done badly on….. 


If you come from an anaesthetic background, I think you’ll find this part of the exam easier in that you’ll be familiar with SOEs at the college. You need to; practice, practice, practice. 


The questions were broad and involved more medicine than I thought - you’ll see the flavour of them by looking at the past questions. I used the above sources to revise from. On the day you get asked 8 questions - 1 from each examiner, and each table has 2 examiners on (so you rotate 4 times). 


Most people that I know who have had trouble with this exam fall down at the OSCE - make sure you dedicate enough time to revising for it ie, practice looking at imaging and ECGs! Read the FFICM guide on the faculty website.


There are some good ones about - PINCER, the Oxford FFICM course and ICS courses are the ones I know about. 

Local examiners - Get viva practice from:

Jules Brown, Jeremy Bewley, Jerry Nolan, Ian Davies, Alex Manara. 

Also put ‘FFICM wessexics’ in to google, 


Good luck. Let me know if I can be of any help.

Ian Kerslake, Consultant in ICM