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Ace Your Medical Exams


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I am an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, and I was the first female sport and exercise psychologist to practise in Australia, way back in 1982. I was director of the only Masters in Sport Psychology program in NSW, one of only four academic sport psychology programs in Australia. In 2007 I was awarded an Australian Psychological Society Award of Distinction for services to sport and exercise psychology. I still smile when I think how I went from sport psychology to having a practice that focuses mostly on performance enhancement for accredited medical trainees. I was being interviewed about stress management on the Andrew Olley radio show when a woman rang up and wanted my contact details. Her son had just failed his final exams for the second time and he was devastated. The way he found out he had failed was particularly heart-breaking. Trainees go up to a list on a large wooden door. If their name is listed they go inside and have champagne with the examiners. If their name is not on the list, they walk away, tail between their legs, feeling totally embarrassed and humiliated. I worked for the next six to eight months with this trainee, treating him like an athlete who has lost his motivation and getting him back into training. I also helped him plan for the exam days, just as I would with an athlete on competition day. I was impatiently waiting for the phone call to let me know if he had passed. He had. I was elated - this was more exciting than getting an athlete onto the Australian team! From then on I was hooked! Now, years later, my private practice specifically focuses on performance enhancement for accredited medical trainees who need to study and pass major exams under often very difficult and stressful conditions. I work with doctors all around Australia and New Zealand from all the major specialties. My PhD in Psychophysiology from the University of NSW has been particularly useful in helping doctors to study smarter through the optimal use of the brain. The key is learning to practise under pressure to perform on demand. I also enjoy competing as a ballroom dancer in State and National Pro-Am events where emphasis is on the artistry and athleticism of dance. And you know what? The intense focusing and refocusing that must take place for optimal performance in this sport helps my practice. It is a wonderful way to practise and develop the same skills and strategies that I teach doctors to assist them as they prepare for their rigorous written and oral final exams.


Doctors like logic and science. This is a study plan which is logical and scientific, clear, concise, and unbelievably helpful. Dr. Charles Ovadia, FRACGP College Examiner.I will be strongly recommending this book to all medical specialty trainees and medical students. Dr. Frank Piscioneri, Supervisor of General Surgical Training, The Canberra Hospital, ACT.I approached the exam with confidence rather than trepidation. I wish I'd been taught how to study for exams in medical school. Dr. Joanna Longley, Hervey Bay Hospital, Qld.This book contains practical advice and tips on how to study smarter, not harder, with tried and tested study plans. It is an invaluable resource for both trainees and their supervisors. Dr. Mary Pinder, Chair, Assessments Committee, CICMPatsy, you have the ability to not only show us a way to successfully passing these exams, you turned the whole journey into something fun: instead of feeling guilty every day, I did less studying but enjoyed it AND had time for myself - and passed the exams easily. Dr. med Nina Kloth, FANZCA, Kilchberg, Switzerland
I only wish I had known Patsy when I was training for my own specialist examinations. I will be putting this book straight onto the "must read" list for all our future specialist trainees! Dr. Bronwyn Avard, CICM College ExaminerI was absolutely delighted when Associate Professor Tremayne told me that she was writing a book to distil all her experience and knowledge in helping doctors and senior medical students pass their examinations. I commend it to the reader, and I fully expect it to take its place on the bookshelves of countless registrars and students, and the consultants responsible for their training and examination. Professor John Watson, AM, FRACP College ExaminerI have, over the years, seen the fruits of Dr Tremayne's techniques through a number of younger colleagues who have benefitted from her sessions and time. I, and all of us involved in mentoring young doctors, thoroughly endorse this formalisation of her skills and approaches in this book. Professor Mohamed Khadra, Professor of Surgery

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