That’s the advice of ACEM trainee Dr Adam Douglas, who achieved the top mark in the Primary Examination Viva, held in March.

As a result, Dr Douglas has been awarded The Joseph Epstein Prize (Primary Examination).

This prize is named after past College President Associate Professor Joseph Epstein who oversaw the introduction of the first Primary Examination during the term of his presidency from 1988 to 1992.

Dr Douglas said it was “fantastic” to hear the news from the College that he had received the highest mark. “It comes down to study and practise,” Dr Douglas said when asked what was the key to success.

The Queenslander prepared for the exam with his girlfriend and fellow ACEM trainee, Dr Meagan Thomson.

“There's no way I could have done it without her,” he said. “We motivated each other, we locked ourselves away and studied.”

Despite being “nervous” on exam day, Dr Douglas said he was comforted by the fact that he had prepared extensively.

“I was lucky to have such a supportive teaching team on the Sunshine Coast and practised at every opportunity with consultants and other colleagues,” he said. “I received some great feedback, took it on board and vowed to improve each time.”

And his advice to candidates undertaking the exam in the future?

“'Commit yourself to the preparation and know that if you put in the work it will be reflected in your result,” Dr Douglas said.

How to prepare for the Primary Exams

ACEM provides an extensive range of online resources featuring past papers, past exam reports, and much more. These are all now located on eLearning under ‘Resources for Trainees’.