Kesavan Sri-Ram (eds) pp. 264 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-521-18471-7
Those surgeons that have studied for the Section 1 FRCS (Tr & Orth) exam will have found that there was a distinct lack of practice questions available to them. Whilst online resources such as Orthobullets and Hyperguide have a vast number of questions to trawl through, the questions often bear little resemblance to the FRCS (Tr & Orth) example questions that are found on the intercollegiate website, and are perhaps directed more towards the American OITEs. Therefore, when Postgraduate Orthopaedics: MCQs and EMQs for the FRCS (Tr & Orth) was released, I wasted no time in ordering my copy.
The introductory chapter provides a clear and accurate description of the Section 1 exam format, with examples of orthopaedic articles that that have been used as the basis for the opening twelve MCQs in recent examinations. There are also helpful hints and tips on how to prepare for the exam, and strategies for dealing with the exam paper itself.
The ten chapters of subspecialty questions broadly cover the FRCS syllabus. Each chapter contains two sections: MCQs and EMQs (extended match questions) that are in the same format as the FRCS (Tr & Orth). All of the lead authors have recently sat the exam. Chapters contain 30 MCQs and 15 EMQs, with each question having a short, but well written answer. The EMQ sections are particularly useful, as, given the relatively recent incorporation of this question style into the exam, there are very few examples to be found online, or in other published books.
Another selling point of this book, is that (at the time of writing), it is available as a Kindle download, and therefore can be read on a tablet; something which I found to be particularly useful. There are a few improvements that I believe could be made. Firstly, I would have liked to have seen more questions, simply because the standard is so close to that of the real exam. Secondly, the occasional, well-chosen diagram would be welcome in some of the answer explanations. Thirdly, and this is splitting hairs, I believe that the pathology section is pitched at a level that is beyond that expected of the FRCS (Tr & Orth) section 1.
In short, I believe that Postgraduate Orthopaedics, provides an extremely accurate representation of the level of knowledge that is required to pass Section 1 FRCS (Tr & Orth), and therefore, should make up part of the armamentarium of every well-prepared candidate.