Suggested reading material for examination preparation

The information that follows is taken from the Australian Medical Council (AMC) publication, Examination Specifications Booklet. Candidates should consult the Examination Specifications and Sample Questions for more detailed information on strategies for preparing for the AMC Multiple Choice Question and Clinical Examinations.

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.

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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.

> Purchase the Anthology of Medical Conditions

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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.

> Purchase the Handbook of Multiple Choice Questions

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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.

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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.

> Purchase the Handbook of Clinical Assessment

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Multi-station Structured Clinical Assessment

The AMC, in association with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has produced a film of the Medical and Surgical Consulting Skills components and the assessment of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Paediatrics in the clinical examination. The film takes the candidate through each step of the clinical examination. It also provides a good introduction to the general format of the AMC Clinical Examination.

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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.

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Braunwald, E. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2008. ISBN 0071466339 (softback with DVD).

Colledge NR and Walker BR (eds). Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine, 21st edn. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 2010, ISBN 9780702030857.

Devitt P, Barker J, Mitchell J and Hamilton-Craig C. Clinical Problems In General Medicine, 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2003, ISN 0443073236.

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

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

Larkins R, Smallwood R. Clinical Skills: The Medical Interview, Physical Examination and Assessment of the Patient's Problems. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1994. ISBN 0522844677 (paperback).

Nair BKR, editor. Clinical Examination: A Problem Based Approach. World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore, 2011. ISBN: 9814273910.

Talley NJ, O'Connor S. Clinical Examination: A Systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis. 6th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Sydney, 2009. ISBN 9780729539050.

Warrell DA, Cox TM, Firth JD (eds). Oxford Textbook of Medicine, 5th edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2010. ISBN 0199204853 (hardback).

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Tjandra JJ, Clunie GJA, Kay AH, Smith J. 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

Hunt PS, Marshall VC. Clinical Problems in General Surgery. Butterworths, Sydney, 1991. ISBN 0409492132. This publication is out of print and only available second hand.

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

Williamson R. An Aid to Clinical Surgery, 6th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1998. ISBN 044305603X.

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Hull D, Johnston D. Essential Paediatrics, 4th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0443059586.

Roberton DM, South M. Practical Paediatrics, 6th edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2007. ISBN 9780443102806.

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.

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Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Beischer NA, Mackay EV. Obstetrics and the Newborn - An Illustrated Text, 3rd edn. WB Saunders, Sydney 1998. ISBN 0702021237.

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.

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Gelder M, Cowen P, Harrison P. Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0198566670 (paperback).

American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn text revision. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, 2000. ISBN 0890420254 (paperback); ISBN 0890420246 (hardback).

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General practice

Murtagh J. General Practice, 5th edn. Hardcover. McGraw Hill Australia, 2010. ISBN 9780070285385.
Online shop of The Medical Journal of Australia

Murtagh J. Practice tips, 5th rev. edn. Soft cover. McGraw Hill Australia, 2008. ISBN 9780070158986.
Online shop of The Medical Journal of Australia

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Population health

Online resources and guidelines

The following list provides a summary of guidelines on a range of Australian population health topics. These are freely available online from the Heart Foundation and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners' website.

Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (The Red Book) 7th Edition 2009

Putting Prevention Into Practice - The Green Book 2nd edition

SNAP: a population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general practice

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

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

Diabetes management in general practice: Guidelines for type 2 diabetes

Smoking cessation guidelines for Australian general practice

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

Diabetes management in general practice (16th Edition) 2010/11

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.

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Ethical and legal responsibilities

Kerridge I, Lowe M, Stewart C. Ethics and the law for health professionals 3rd edition. 2009. The Federation Press.

Breen KJ, Cordner SM, Thomson CJH, Plueckhahn VD. Good Medical Practice: Professionalism, Ethics and Law. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press; 2010. ISBN 978-0-521-18341-3 Paperback

Online resources and guidelines

The following list provides a summary of freely available guidelines on a range of Australian ethical and legal topics.

Advance Care Plans

Practice Standards

Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers

Abuse and violence: Working with our patients in general practice

Intimate Partner Violence

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Therapeutic Guidelines from Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, North Melbourne, Vic.

Therapeutic Guidelines: Analgesic, version 6, 2012

Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic, version 14, 2010

Therapeutic Guidelines: Cardiovascular, version 6, 2012

Therapeutic Guidelines: Dermatology, version 3, 2009

Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology, version 4, 2009

Therapeutic Guidelines: Gastrointestinal, version 5, 2011

Therapeutic Guidelines: Neurology, version 4, 2011

Therapeutic Guidelines: Oral and Dental, version 2, 2012

Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care, version 3, 2010

Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic, version 7, 2013

Therapeutic Guidelines: Respiratory, version 4, 2009

Therapeutic Guidelines: Rheumatology, version 2, 2010

Therapeutic Guidelines: Toxicology and Wilderness, version 2, 2012

Therapeutic Guidelines: Ulcer and Wound Management, version 1, 2012

Management Guidelines: Developmental Disability, version 3, 2012

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, 5th edn. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, 2009. 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 edn. 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. CoastCityCountry Training, Wagga Wagga, 2007. ISBN 0975682962.

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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:

Australian Family Physician (

Australian Prescriber (

British Medical Journal (

British Journal of Hospital Medicine (

Current Therapeutics, Lancet (

Medical Journal of Australia (

New England Journal of Medicine (

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