Required Reading

Who thought this reading was "required", and what is it "required" for?

This is a compendium of summaries and study notes created as an unofficial syllabus for the CICM Second Part exam. The purpose of this collection is not to teach anybody intensive care medicine, or to supercede the existing curriculum as outlined in the Objectives of Advanced Training and Competencies, or to improve on the official syllabus document (whenever that becomes available). It does not aim to surpass the quality or information density of existing commercial medical databases, venerated textbooks or exam-oriented study guides.

The aim is to help the trainees pass.

Preparation for the CICM Fellowship exam could have, until recently, been almost exclusively composed of the exploration of past papers, and the revision of previously examined material. One can peruse the original past papers here, at the CICM college website. These "Required Reading" chapters are based on past paper SAQ answers. The content consists both of previously examined material as well as material which is sufficiently important to stand a good chance of appearing in future papers.

Within each chapter, a brief point-form "Essential Material" summary represents some sort of bare minimum level of detail required to answer the SAQ. There's usually a helpful grey box around this. Beyond this section lie lengthy apocryphal digressions on the subject matter, which may be of limited interest to the time-poor exam candidate, and which can often be safely ignored.

"Important material which has not yet appeared in the exam"  is a  good way to describe some of the material within these chapters. How was material collected into this category? What determines its "importance"? Is it really "essential"? Well. Typically, these subjects are those which have been mentioned in Oh's Manual, or discussed vigorously in the literature, or they just happen to be fundamental physiological concepts which are worth knowing irrespective of their "examinability". Additionally, if the LITFL authors included the topic in the CCC, chances are its worth knowing about (they have a good instinct for that sort of thing).

Trials and guidelines pages are compilations of links to published materials that seem essential on the basis of the fact that they describe and shape our practice, and so the CICM trainee should aim to become familiar with these. They are largely harvested from The Bottom Line and Critical Care Reviews. Many are recent, and some are "living documents", which makes them approximately 1,000,000% better than textbooks. Locally famous papyruses such as Bersten and Soni's Oh's Intensive Care Manual, Worthley's Clinical Examination of the Critically Ill Patient, and Examination Intensive Care Medicine by Carole Foot et al can no longer be recommended, as they gradually recede into obsolescence. 

Entries from the Critical Care Compendium (CCC) by Life in the Fast Lane are also worthwhile reading, because they are short, well-referenced, and potentially examinable. Some of the CCC material is composed of the college answers from the written paper, and some has never been seen before in the SAQs. In homage to the LITFL CCC archive, links to the CCC topics relevant to each section is included as a part of the recommended revision package. It is desirable to read all of this content, but the typical exam candidate normally runs out of time.