Suggested reading material for examination preparation

AMC Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Examination

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.

While candidates may find it useful to review the major textbooks in the key clinical disciplines, the questions in the MCQ examination are oriented towards the more common clinical applications, differential diagnosis and therapeutics, and candidates should take care when using major reference type textbooks. The AMC has drawn up a guide to some useful texts. These textbooks, listed below, will provide background reading on key topics and contain a great deal of reference material. They are not intended as prescribed reading.

Candidates may find it more useful to review medical journals that contain useful review articles and summaries of the identification, treatment and management of the more common clinical conditions in the Australian community.

Anthology of Medical Conditions

Annotated Multiple Choice Questions

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.

Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions

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.

AMC Clinical Examination

For the AMC Clinical Examination, the AMC recommends that candidates undertake a comprehensive review of clinical skills and differential diagnosis. Experience suggests that a review of journals that contain articles dealing with common clinical conditions in the Australian community will be more effective in preparing for the clinical examinations than spending too much time with reference books. A list of useful journals is provided below.

Handbook of Clinical Assessment

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.

Other 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.


Colledge NR, Walker BR, Ralston SH and Penman I (eds). Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine, 22nd edn. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 2014, ISBN 9780702050350.

Devitt PG, Mitchell JD and Hamilton-Craig C. Clinical Problems in Medicine and Surgery, 3rd edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2011, ISBN 9780702034091.

Diagnostic Imaging Pathway. Government of Western Australia, Department of Health.

Inside Radiology. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Larkins R, Smallwood RA. Clinical Skills: The Medical Interview, Physical Examination and Assessment of the Patient's Problems. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1996. ISBN 9780522844672 (paperback).

Nair BKR, ed. Clinical Examination: A Problem Based Approach. World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore, 2011. ISBN: 9814273916.

Talley NJ, O'Connor S. Clinical Examination: A Systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis. 7th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Sydney, 2014. ISBN 9780729541473.

Warrell DA, Cox TM, Firth JD (eds). Oxford Textbook of Medicine, 5th edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2010. ISBN 9780199204854 (hardback).


Tjandra JJ, Clunie GJA, Kay AH, Smith J (Eds). Textbook of Surgery, 3rd edn Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2005. ISBN 9781405126274.

Clunie GJA, Tjandra JJ, Ross H. MCQ's and Short Answer Questions for Surgery. Wiley-Blackwell, Melbourne, 1999. Paperback. ISBN 9780867930108.

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. This publication is out of print and only available second hand.

Smith JA, Fox JG, Saunder AC, Ming KY. Hunt & Marshall’s Clinical Problems in General Surgery, 2nd edn. Butterworths, Sydney, 2010. ISBN 9780729538268.

Morris PJ, Wood WC. Oxford Textbook of Surgery, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2000. ISBN 0192628844 (three volume set).

Children’s health

Hull D, Johnston D. Essential Paediatrics, 4th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0443059586. This publication is out of print and only available second hand.

Roberton DM, South M. Practical Paediatrics, 7th edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2012. ISBN 9780702042928.

Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne, Vic.). Paediatric Handbook, 8th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2009. ISBN 9781405174008.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 10th edn. ISBN 9781742418612.

Women’s health

Permezel M, Walker S, Kyprianou K. Beischer & Mackay’s Obstetrics, Gynaecology and the Newborn, 4th edn. WB Saunders, Sydney 2015. ISBN 9780729540742.

Llewellyn-Jones D. Fundamentals of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 9th edn. Mosby, London 2010. ISBN 9780723435099.

Mackay EV, Beischer NA, Pepperell R, Wood C. Illustrated Textbook of Gynaecology, 2nd edition, WB Saunders, Sydney 1992. ISBN 0729512118. This publication is out of print and only available second hand.

Mental health

Cowen P, Harrison P, Burns T. Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 6th edn, Oxford University Press, 2012 ISBN 9780199605613 (paperback).

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, 5th edn. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, 2013. ISBN 9780890425558 (paperback); ISBN 9780890425541 (hardback).

General practice

Murtagh J. General Practice, 5th edn. Hardcover. McGraw Hill Australia, 2010. ISBN 9780070285385.

Murtagh J. Practice tips, 5th rev. edn. Soft cover. McGraw Hill Australia, 2008. ISBN 9780070158986.

Population health

Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (The Red Book) 8th Edition 2012.

Putting Prevention Into Practice - The Green Book 2nd edition.

Clinical guidelines for musculoskeletal disease (OA, RA, JIA, OP).

Medical care of older persons in residential aged care facilities (silver book).

General practice management of type 2 diabetes 2014-15.

General practice management of type 2 diabetes 2014-15 (PDF).

Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals.

Abuse and violence: Working with our patients in general practice (white book).

Guideline for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal woman and older men.

Guideline for the non-surgical management of hip and knee osteoarthritis.

Clinical guideline for the diagnosis and management of early rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical guideline for the diagnosis and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Guidelines for the assessment and management of absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

Cancer Council's recommendations for screening and surveillance for specific cancers: Early detection policy for general practitioners.


  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Analgesic
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Cardiovascular
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Dermatology
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Gastrointestinal
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Neurology
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Oral and Dental
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Respiratory
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Rheumatology
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Toxicology and Wilderness
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Ulcer and Wound Management
  • Management Guidelines: Developmental Disability

Note: 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, 7th edn. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, 2015. ISSN 1449-8219. This edition available on CD-ROM or online only.

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)).

Australian Medicines Handbook, 2015. ISBN 9780987550156. Electronic version available via Australian Medicines Handbook website.

Reid S. I Feel Crook Doc: Language, Cultural Issues and Etiquette in the Australian Consulting Room. 3rd edn. Coast City Country Training, Wagga Wagga, 2007. ISBN 0975682962.


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: