The Buchanan Prize is awarded to the highest scoring candidates in a cohort of the Fellowship Examination (Clinical), also known as the ‘OSCE’, on their first attempt of the examination.
187 trainees sat the 2023.1 examination across three cohorts at the AMC’s National Test Centre in Melbourne.
Dr-Jack-Marjot.jpg  Dr-Jack-Taylor.jpeg  Dr-Mike-OLoan-(1).jpg  Dr-Jack-Marjot-(2).jpg
       Dr Scott Farenden                         Dr Jack Taylor                     Dr Mike O'Loan                     Dr Jack Marjot

Dr Farenden was “stunned and surprised” to win. He said, “I spent the next few days waiting for a follow-up email saying, ‘Sorry, it was all a mistake.’” He had studied for the OSCEs with another winner, Dr Marjot, who was at the Hong Kong international airport when he found out he’d won. Dr Marjot said, “I was totally amazed and excited – I ran through the airport trying to find my partner so that I could share my excitement with him, instead of experiencing it on my own.”

All four winners stressed the importance of having a good study group and support network to help prepare for the OSCEs.

Dr Taylor studied for the OSCEs with ten trainees at the Royal Brisbane hospital. “We practiced regularly, at all hours, in all settings,” he said, “Whenever we got the chance. One of the stranger places was in a local park, with lots of printed out papers and laptops.”

Dr O’Loan had a study group, but also had a particular study buddy that he worked closely with to prepare for the exam. “It’s really helpful to find someone whose skills are complementary to yours,” he advised, “so you can help drag each other across the line.”
Dr O’Loan said that another key aspect of nailing the OSCEs was to approach the exam with confidence. “It’s a scary exam, but you’re capable of doing it. So much of the actual performance on the day is being confident, so if you can project that confidence, you’ll do much better.”

All four recipients stressed the importance of making sure to do other things outside of study. “Make sure you still see your family and friends,” advised Dr Taylor. “Find time to exercise and do all the other things you enjoy doing – otherwise, you do go a bit mad.”
Dr Marjot believes that the most important thing is to be kind to yourself.  He said, “Try to make peace with the fact that you’re not always going to be able to give one hundred per cent to your study, because other things in life will get in the way.”
“It’s all well and good congratulating the prize winners, but I actually think the much more remarkable people are those who managed to sit the exam and pass while dealing with other stressors.”

Dr Farenden said, “I’m in awe of my colleagues who did this with children and other commitments as well.”
The Buchanan Prize was established in 1986 and is named after ACEM Foundation Fellow Dr Peter Buchanan. It consists of a bronze medal and a certificate, and is awarded at the annual College Ceremony.