Management VIVA

The FCEM management VIVA can be very daunting.  Tom and I have put together our top tips to help you get through the exam:

1. Read quickly – there is a lot of information to get through, I found there was more than I expected. Practice speed reading at home ensuring you absorb as much of the information in front of you as possible.

2. Make piles according to how urgently the items in your inbox should be dealt with. Everyone has a different way of doing this. Some use the Urgent/Important system. I found this confusing so put mine into three piles entitled “minutes”, “hours” and “days”.

3. Stop reading, stand up, make eye contact, shake hands with the examiners when they walk into the room…….and SMILE! Try not to be reading frantically as they come in.

4. Start the discussion of every item with a sentence describing what it is “This is a patient safety issue/compliant/staffing issue/compliment etc……” Then describe how you will deal with it. (Tom – just don’t read the entire article back to the examiner)

5. DON’T throw any item in your inbox into the bin!

6. LINKS! Try to link items to diary, meetings, teaching sessions and other documents in your inbox. (Tom – a clinical incident may be an  opportunity to instigate change)

7. Remember you have a secretary and other team members, delegate certain tasks (i.e. finding locums and securing notes)

8. Carefully read the long case…..don’t be put off buy the examiners sitting in front of you.

9. Be yourself, smile and interact. They are looking for candidates to act like they are new consultants.

10. RELAX, nerves can do strange things to you. It’s only 30 minutes and you will have done all the FCEM exams when you walk out of the room. Good Luck!

Useful links:

Read Mental Capacity Act notes and dealing with complaints already on this website

MDU do a series of podcasts on management topics if you are a member

MPS have a series of factsheets (individual ones are available for England, N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the website)

EM revision has put together some short notes for the management VIVA

Look out for more management posts on FCEMprep




Great stuff from Becky but if you still want more then…

11. Read the College Guidelines and go through the practice paper with example marksheet on the resource page

12. If you do (miraculously) finish the long case, instead of talking yourself into a hole, consider going back to some of the short cases you missed earlier

13. Play along. Don’t get hung up if the hospital you are pretending to be a new consultant in bears little resemblance to the one you actually work in.

14. Never be dismissive of a problem or joke about a colleague or patient.

15. Be decisive

16. And if it all doesn’t work out then there is a management portfolio pilot underway….


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