There are currently FOUR examinations under the auspices of CMSA that are pertinent to anaesthesiology.
- Diploma in Anaesthetics (DA)
- FCA Part I
- FCA Part II and
- Certificate in Critical Care – see Sub-specialist training
1. Diploma in Anaesthesia (Thursdays, 16h30 – 18h00)
This remains a popular examination for medical officers entering the department. This is because the DA is a departmental necessity for entry into registrar training and because the Diploma allows candidates greater opportunities for international employment. Departmental candidates have traditionally performed well in these examinations.
The Diploma in Anaesthetics series of tutorials is conducted once a week in the afternoons. In order to be eligible to write the Diploma, doctors are required to have completed six months of anaesthetics in a recognized unit. The course is focused on the DA examination offered by CMSA and includes Mock Oral sessions and OSCE assessments. The course is run twice a year to coincide with the April and September examinations. The overall co-ordinator for this is Dr J Kanjee. In addition, weekend refresher courses for the DA have are run.
2. FCA Part 1 (Wednesdays, 15h00 onwards)
The examination is split into 3 components (Physiology, Pharmacology and Physics & Clinical Measurement). Only one or two components may be carried forward if the other one/two have been passed. Registrars entering the training programme have a requirement to attempt all 3 parts within 18 months of their registrarship.
This basic science course is designed to cover the syllabus for candidates who intend to specialize in Anaesthesia. There are three one-hour tutorials conducted once a week in the afternoons by experts on specific topics. The course consists of lectures, tutorials, and regular oral/written assessments after each module that is used to assess an individual’s progress.
A similar course is run at Pietermaritzburg for the smaller number of registrars based there. The use of electronic media in Part 1 teaching is increasing. The Part 1 tutor group is currently busy with creating an on-line Part 1 programme and the use of You-Tube tutorial videos and Google Classroom
3. FCA Part II
Tutorial Course (Monday, 15h00-16h30)
Clinical Teaching (Monday, 16h30)
The FCA (SA) Part II is a series of tutorials that is facilitated by an allocated consultant. It is conducted for approximately 90 minutes, once a week in the afternoons. These sessions cover the theoretical aspects of anaesthesia and also focus on improving examination-preparation skills of registrars. Attendees are required to write practice essays and are subjected to mock orals during the sessions.
The clinical component of the FCA Part 2 examination is important. These sessions attempt to fulfill that need. At these sessions, two designated consultants hold clinical sessions centred around paper clinical cases that registrars evaluate.