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The FFICM Curriculum: Know the curriculum to give yourself your best shot

March 21, 2018

​To Guide your revision its well worth having a brief look at the FFICM curriculum. 


If the topic you are revising is not on the curriculum then you are wasting your time as you cannot be asked about it in the exam.  The opposite is also true- if its on the curriculum then its fair game so you need to have a think about if you need to focus on particular topics and target your revision. 

The curriculum is divided into 12 domains (+ basic sciences that could also be tested)

  1. Resuscitation and initial management of the acutely ill patient

  2. Diagnosis, Assessment, Investigations, Monitoring and Data Interpretation

  3. Disease Management

  4. Therapeutic Interventions/Organ Support in single or multiple organ failure

  5. Practical Procedures

  6. Perioperative Care

  7. Comfort and Recovery

  8. End of Life Care

  9. Paediatric Care

  10. Transport

  11. Patient Safety and Health System Management

  12. Professionalism

+ Basic Sciences 

Unfortunately as you might expect its a long list of 80 pages of competences. Some of which are more easily assessed by examination and some less so.


However, don't be put off by its length as most of it is standard bread-and-butter intensive care that you know anyway. There is also lots of overlap between the sections with the same topics coming up repeatedly. 


So use it to highlight some specific areas you haven't thought about and some areas of weakness and reassure yourself that you have heard of most of it before.


Using the curriculum you can tease out potential questions such as


An exam question on 'Measures of adequacy of tissue oxygenation, e.g. base deficit, lactate, central venous saturation' from 1.1

An OSCE station involving 'Indications and methods of cardiac pacing in the peri-arrest setting' from 1.2

A viva about 'causes recognition and management of Hypertensive emergencies' from 1.3


Or 'Issues of consent in children or National child protection guidelines' from 9.2

Or 'Pathogenesis, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of complications of ICU management including: ​pulmonary oxygen toxicity' from 11.4


So basically its all there in the syllabus letting you know what you could be asked about.


How much do you have to know about each topic? Probably not too much. There is a huge breadth of knowledge so your best bet is knowing about 4-5 mins chat about most of it rather than being an expert on one topic.

Here is a link to the Curriculum and to the FICM curriculum page, there are updates on the way but currently this is the most uptodate.

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