For most of the expert topics in the syllabus, a certain level of core knowledge is required to pass the written SAQ or MCQ type questions, as well as the case based type OSCE questions.

This Blog entry should be used in conjunction with the ‘Intro to the ACE the ACEM course’ session as part of the ACE the ACEM program.

For example, if we consider ‘Retropharyngeal abscess’ as a topic. It has been asked under various guises in the both the osce and written :

Paediatric case core knowledge – including clinical presentation
Airway catastrophe with emphasis on airway management aspects
Imaging question with CT or X-ray provided

Considering the key aspects of the topic (see blog on ‘the cognitive matrix’ )
aetiology
risk factors
history and examination
key tests
complications
classification
severity
management – resuscitation and airway
management – medical or surgical specific mx
management supportive

These domains of knowledge can be sourced best by:

1. Review of UpToDate article on retropharyngeal abscess or a suitable review article
2.Review of chapter in Rosen’s

As a general rule, to simplify study approach, each expert topic should be reviewed by:

1. Review of UpToDate or Emedicine / Medscape or a suitable review article
2. Review of a core text – eg rosen’s or tintinalli – my preference is usually Rosen’s because it is comprehensive but easy to digest
3. Review of relevant imaging – use radiopedia online or another suitable imaging database
4. Review of local guideline if applicable eg therapeutic guidelines australia for antibiotic choice

Hope that helps!
​Happy studying