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125 candidates sat the 2021.2a OSCE across two cohorts, with examinations held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

After sitting the exam, Robert was not sure if he had even passed. He said, “After completing the OSCE in Brisbane and comparing the experiences of other candidates over a few beers, it left me even more uncertain about my future success or failure.”
Robert-Buchanan-(1).pngHe learnt he had won the Buchanan prize late at night – but thought the College had made a mistake. He said, “I felt there must be another doctor with the same name, and that the college had sent this email to the wrong candidate.”

Once the shock had worn off, he was left with “an odd feeling of disbelief but also immense pride.” He said, “Many people came and offered me congratulations from both the medical and nursing fields which was truly awesome.”

Unlike Robert, Jasmine was optimistic that she had worked hard enough to pass. She found out she had won while working nights. “I was sleep deprived,’ she said, “and I remember it didn’t really feel real. It was so nice to see everyone so happy and proud the next morning when I walked to the ED admin area where my consultant colleagues were congratulating me.”

Robert and Jasmine agree that support from colleagues helped greatly with preparing for the exams. They also credit written preparation, and extensive practical experience within the emergency department for their success.

Robert also said that his experience over the last ten years and the intense OSCE practice with consultants and peers was “key to success” and reflected the work that is done on a day-to-day basis.
“I think my success through this exam was down to my colleagues in Adelaide, at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Their ongoing guidance and support over the years either directly or indirectly, has shaped me into the clinician I am now.”
He also credits the ongoing support from his partner, Alaine, and his family and friends who offered him “countless hours” of emotional support. He said, “I couldn’t have done this in isolation.”
Jasmine felt fortunate to be supported by two emergency departments; Sunshine and The Royal Melbourne, where she scheduled multiple practice sessions with FACEMs, previous prize winners and the educational teams. Both departments helped secure her places on the Victoria-based mock OSCE’s, which were valuable for both their practice and feedback. 

She also credits the support of her family, friends, colleagues, pet dogs and partner, who all helped her maintain focus and perspective throughout the exam preparation process.

When asked why they decided to specialise in Emergency Medicine, both acknowledge the team approach to emergency medicine, and the joy of the unpredictability.

Robert said, “For me, it is the unknown of what is coming through the doors which keeps things exciting and the team that we work with that keeps the job rewarding.”

Jasmine loves “the banter, the team environment, the fact that you’re never working on your own, the colleagues you work with become your friends and then like family. I like the changes in pace, the unpredictability of the day – you could be managing a traumatic arrest one minute, then addressing vaccine concerns the next.”

The Buchanan Prize is named after widely respected ACEM Foundation Fellow Dr Peter Buchanan. It consists of a bronze medal and a certificate and is awarded at the annual College Ceremony.

The winners of the 2021.2b Buchanan Prize will be announced in early 2022.