Changes to the ATP curriculum – Appendix 2

09 November 2023

Important information for ANZCA trainees and supervisors on changes to Appendix 2 of the anaesthesia training program curriculum.

At the beginning of 2023, a small working group (including four primary examiners and a trainee representative) reviewed the Appendix 2 (Study Guide for the Primary Exam) resource with the aim of increasing its useability, for both trainees and supervisors, when preparing for the primary exam (PEx).

Changes to Appendix 2 of the curriculum 

  • Learning outcomes (LOs) assessed in PEx are now grouped under the headings of body systems and topics.
  • ​Two new LOs have been added, pertaining to the physiology and pharmacology of iron replacement (examinable from the 24.2 exam onwards).
  • The LO on the statistics of a diagnostic test has been transferred to the final exam.
  • Some LOs have been added to clarify existing content, and the wording of others has been amended to make their meaning and expected depth of understanding, clearer.
  • A number of minor LOs have been deleted or transferred to other assessment formats.

These changes are all summarised here.

The final version of Appendix 2 will be included in the 2024 edition of the curriculum, due for publication in February.

Past SAQs
Past short answer questions (SAQs) are an extremely valuable learning resource, however, they should not be used as a ‘syllabus’. This approach will create significant gaps in learning. Past SAQs should, instead, be used to:

  • Revise topics which have already been studied.
  • Check understanding. 
  • Practice structuring and organising information to answer a particular question.
  • Practice answering questions within a time limit.

SAQ format
It is likely that there will be increased use of SAQs which are divided into sub-parts, and/or which instruct the candidate to use particular headings. There will also be continued use of SAQs presented in a separate booklet and which require candidates to write short specific answers and/or annotate diagrams (to date, these have been used for anatomy questions).

At this stage, most SAQs will continue to be a more open-ended style of question, which require the candidate to decide upon the headings/domains to include in their answer.

Dr David Fahey AM
Chair - Primary Examination Subcommittee

Last updated 16:25 9.11.2023