Because CICM have historically asked written questions an impressively diverse range of miscellaneous topics, and then basically never repeated them, the trainee is somewhat adrift with regards to what might be expected from them in the future. What follows is an attempt to use the experience of the past to predict future examiner behaviour, and arm the exam candidates with some basic tools to help them revise in preparation for the unpredictable. Wherever overlap exists between these topics and other chapters, links are used to redirect the reader and keep the length of this inventory to a manageable minimum.
Protocolised bundles of supportive care in general
Nutrition trials and guidelines
Analgesia and sedation
Thromboprophylaxis trials and guidelines
Patient mobility and positioning
Physiotherapy for the critically ill
Pressure area prevention
Glycaemic control in the ICU
CICM have asked a lot of weird questions in the past, for example about the non-cardiorespiratory causes of cyanosis, or how to tell the difference between a kidney and a spleen using nothing but the crude sensitivity of your fingers (like you'd make a surgical referral on the basis of those findings). Most of these questions appear to have come from the pre-2010 exam, which helps delineate the year in which the examiner who insisted on them had retired. A system of checks and balances in exam design has since replaced the lawlessness of those earlier papers, but just in case, it would not hurt to be familiar with the content of Talley & O'Connor's Clinical Examination of whatever second-hand edition, as this is likely to have the highest yield in terms of mark density per gram of printed paper. Those morally above resorting to online piracy may be able to score a cheap copy from a final-year medical student about to embark on a career in pathology.
Rheumatological, systemic autoimmune and generally congenital conditions which have appeared in the exam have included rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, Down syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, acromegaly, ankylosing spondylitis, Parkinson's disease, and SLE. The questions on these have generally consisted of "outline" and "discuss" style questions about how these diseases influence the care of the patient who has them, who ends up in the ICU for whatever reason. Obviously, trainees cannot protect themselves from such questions in the future with revision, as the range of possible conditions is vast, and repeated SAQs are unpredictable. Instead it is recommended that they adopt and practice a systems-based structure which might help them construct and answer with some headings, and hopefully help recall vague snippets of information about a half-forgotten systemic weirdopathy. One such system could be:
This is obviously not the only possible system and the author of it is acutely conscious of the fact that he is not an expert and anyway writing these notes at 3am, which places him in a uniquely stupid position. Trainees are advised to generate their own systems and compare with each other to improve them.
Critical care dermatology - this covers the narrow overlap between dermatology and intensive care that can broadly be described as "things were your skin is falling off". There is obviously no way to rapidly become an expert in such things for the CICM fellowship exam. The best thing one can do is get a good review such as Badia et al (2020)