#TipsforEMexams: Aaron Sibley presents his EM Exam Tips

In TipsForEMExams by Teresa Chan1 Comment

The snowball nomination fun has begun!  Originally I nominated Rob Woods, when then nominated Aaron Sibley from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS).  Rob is currently an examiner for the RC exams, but he has kindly sent along some really good tips for studying that do not violate the terms of his confidentiality re: the exams.

– TChan
p.s. Also, we are still waiting on previous nominees…
Heather Murray
Chris Hicks


Name:  Aaron Sibley, Survivor of the 2008 RC emergency medicine exam. (I graduated from the U of A in 2008, the year behind Rob.)

Where are you now?   I am currently an Assistant prof at Dalhousie University and a member of the emergency dept. at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. I am also an examiner for the Royal College in Emergency Medicine.

My List:

  1. Create a study plan early (in late August or early September). Set weekly and monthly goals for reading/covering the information. Meet with colleagues regularly to ensure you are keeping on track and to reaffirm your retention.
  2. Take a break.  Studying everyday for months on end can be mentally and physically exhausting. A night out with a significant other or friends, exercising, or even watching a favourite TV show can be rejuvenating and give you the needed energy to make it for the long-haul. Think about taking a longer break in the winter.
  3. Reach out to others.  This is a difficult year.  Use the support of others in your program who have gone before you.
  4. Practice makes permanent. Do as many mock written and oral exams as you can. Perfect you “spiel” of how you would like the patient managed initially and what tests/investigations you would like performed.
  5. Keep track of important articles during the year prior to the exam.  Use a resource such as “Journal Watch” or McMaster ACCESSSS federated search to do the grunt work for you, ask one of the EBM gurus at your institution for their top articles.
Hope this helps,
My nomination is:
Anthony Chahal at UBC

Teresa Chan

Senior Editor at CanadiEM
Emergency Physician. Medical Educator. #FOAMed Supporter, Producer and Researcher. Chief Strategy Officer of CanadiEM. Associate Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, McMaster University.
BoringEM has been 'bringing the boring' to emergency medicine since 2012. In 2016 this Canadian blog brought its content to CanadiEM.