AMC EXAM Study Guides

About the AMC Exam

Annotated Multiple Choice Questions

AMC EXAMSThe Australian Medical Council (AMC) has prepared this guide and self-assessment tool to assist overseas-trained doctors who are preparing for the AMC AMCQ examination. It also illustrates the best- practice principles for a range of medical conditions found in the Australian community.

VC Marshall; A. Lindesay Clark and AJ Buzzard
Publisher: Blackwell Science Ltd
ISBN: 9780867933772
Format: Paperback Book


Preparing for the AMC Multiple Choice Question and Clinical Examinations

The information that follows is taken from the AMC publication, Examination Specifications Booklet. Candidates should consult the Examination Specifications and Sample Questions for more detailed information on strategies for preparing for the AMC Multiple Choice Question and Clinical Examinations

The Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) examination is a comprehensive examination of medical knowledge and practice. The AMC recommends that candidates undertake a thorough review of the major topics covered in the examination.

Candidates should familiarise themselves with the MCQ format. A wide range of general texts is readily available on this form of examination and its associated techniques. The AMC publication Annotated Multiple Choice Questions also covers these aspects.

The AMC publication Annotated Multiple Choice Questions is a selection of 600 MCQ Questions from the AMC MCQ Question Bank with commentaries and explanations on each question. The AMC has used these questions in previous MCQ examinations. The questions provide a comprehensive guide to the format, scope and standard of the AMC MCQ examination. The book is distributed by Blackwell Publishing Asia.  The order form can be found here.

The AMC publication Anthology of Medical Conditions has been produced not only to assist overseas trained doctors to prepare for the AMC examinations but also as an essential tool for clinical practice. The publication lists over 130 Clinical Presentations of clinical conditions and classifies them to assist in a problem-solving approach to diagnosis and management. It is essential for all doctors to be familiar with the laws of the society in which they practise medicine and the ethics that underpin medical practice. It is also important to understand the organisational aspects of medicine in the Australian context. The Anthology of Medical Conditions contains a separate section dealing with these important issues, entitled Legal, Ethical and Organisational Aspects of the Practice of Medicine (LEO). The publication is enhanced throughout with medical illustrations.  The publication is recommended for use in preparing for the AMC multiple choice question (MCQ) and clinical examinations.  To order the Anthology of Medical Conditions, click here.

While candidates may find it useful to review the major textbooks in the key clinical disciplines, the questions in the MCQ examination are oriented towards the more common clinical applications, differential diagnosis and therapeutics, and candidates should take care when using major reference type textbooks. The AMC has drawn up a guide to some useful texts. These textbooks, listed below, will provide background reading on key topics and contain a great deal of reference material. They are not intended as prescribed reading.

Candidates may find it more useful to review medical journals that contain useful review articles and summaries of the identification, treatment and management of the more common clinical conditions in the Australian community.

For the AMC clinical examination, the AMC recommends that candidates undertake a comprehensive review of clinical skills and differential diagnosis. Experience suggests that a review of journals that contain articles dealing with common clinical conditions in the Australian community will be more effective in preparing for the clinical examinations than spending too much time with reference books. A list of useful journals is provided below.

The AMC in association with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has produced a videotape of the Medical and Surgical Consulting Skills components and the assessment of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Paediatrics in the clinical examination (publications). The videotape takes the candidate through each step of the clinical examination. It also provides a good introduction to the general format of the AMC clinical examination.


There are many medical textbooks available and most of them are of high standard. They range from quite short texts, which cover essential knowledge, to long and comprehensive treatises which most people use as reference books. The AMC has drawn up the following list, as a guide to some useful texts. They are not intended as prescribed reading.

AMC examinations are set on the latest editions of the recommended textbooks. It is up to the AMC candidate to obtain the latest information. Material contained in previous editions of the recommended textbooks, or other unspecified textbooks, may not be correct and will not be used to determine the result of AMC examinations.


Devitt P, Barker J, Mitchell J and Hamilton-Craig C. Clinical Problems In General Medicine, 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone, 2003, ISN 0443073236. 

Edwards C and Bouchier IA (eds). Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 18th edn. Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1999, ISBN 0443059446. 

Braunwald, E. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001. ISBN 0070072744 (hardcover). ISBN 0079136869 (hardcover, 2 volume set). ISBN 0071374795 (CD-ROM)

Larkins R, Smallwood R. Clinical Skills: The Medical Interview, Physical Examination and Assessment of the Patient’s Problems. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1994. ISBN 0522844677 (paperback).
Lau L. Imaging Guidelines, 4th edn. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, Melbourne, 2001. ISBN 0959285415. 

Talley NJ, O’Connor S. Clinical Examination: A Systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis. 4th edn MacLennan & Petty, Sydney, 2001. ISBN 0864331444, 

Weatherall DJ, Ledingham JGG, Warrell DA (eds). Oxford Textbook of Medicine, 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 1996. ISBN 0192621408 (set of 3). 


Clunie GJA, Tjandra JJ, Thomas R.S.J. Textbook of Surgery, 2nd edn Blackwell Science Asia, Melbourne, 2001. ISBN 0867930233. 

Clunie GJA, Tjandra JJ, Ross H. MCQ’s and Short Answer Questions for Surgery. Blackwell Science Asia, Melbourne, 1999. Paperback. ISBN 0867930101. 

Forrest AP, Carter DC, MacLeod IB. Principles and Practice of Surgery - A Surgical Supplement to Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 3rd edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1995. ISBN 0443048606

Hunt PS, Marshall VC. Clinical Problems in General Surgery. Butterworths, Sydney, 1991. ISBN 0409492132. This publication is out of print and only available second hand.

Morris PJ, Malt RA. Oxford Textbook of Surgery, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001. ISBN 0192628844 (three volume set). 

Williamson R. An Aid to Clinical Surgery, 6th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1998. ISBN 044305603X.


Hull D, Johnston D. Essential Paediatrics, 4th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0443059586.

Robinson MJ, Roberton DM. Practical Paediatrics, 5th edn. Churchill Livingstone, Melbourne, 2002. ISBN 044307139X.

Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne, Vic.). Paediatric Handbook, 6th edn. Blackwell Science Asia, Melbourne, 2000. ISBN 086793011X 

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 7th edn. Australian Government Printing Service 2000. ISBN 0644475781


Beischer NA, Mackay EV. Obstetrics and the Newborn - An Illustrated Text, 3rd edn. WB Saunders, Sydney 1998. ISBN 0702021237.

Llewellyn-Jones D. Fundamentals of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Mosby, London 1999, 7th edn ISBN 0723431507. 
Mackay EV, Beischer NA, Pepperell R, Wood C. Illustrated Textbook of Gynaecology, 2nd edition, WB Saunders, Sydney 1992. ISBN 0729512118. 


Gelder M, Gath D, Mayou R. The Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0192625004 (paperback). 

American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn text revision. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, 2000. ISBN 0890420254 (paperback); ISBN 0890420246 (hardback).


Murtagh J. General Practice, 2nd edn. Hardcover. McGraw Hill Australia 1998. ISBN 0074704362 Softcover edn 1999, ISBN 0074707191. 


Therapeutic Guidelines from Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, North Melbourne, Vic.. 

Therapeutic Guidelines: Analgesic Version 4, 2002
Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic Version 12, 2003
Therapeutic Guidelines: Cardiovascular Version 4, 2003
Therapeutic Guidelines: Dermatology Version 2, 2004
Therapeutic Guidelines: Endocrinology Version 3, 2004
Therapeutic Guidelines: Gastrointestinal Version 3, 2002
Therapeutic Guidelines: Neurology Version 2, 2002
Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care Version 1, 2001
Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic Version 5, 2003
Therapeutic Guidelines: Respiratory Version 2, 2000

Note: Available in print individually or as a complete set in the form of an electronic subscription (‘eTG complete’). 

Manual of Use and Interpretation of Pathology Tests, 2nd edn. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, 1997. ISBN 0959335528. 3rd edn, 2002. ISBN 0646409646. This edition available on CD-ROM or online only.

MIMS Australia. St Leonards, NSW. MediMedia Australia Pty Limited. Subscriptions: ISSN 10355723 (MIMS Australia Bi-monthly), ISSN 0725-4709 (MIMS Australia Annual), ABNRID 000012656851
(eMIMS – CD-ROM or MIMS on PDA (Personal digital assistant)).

Australian Medicine Handbook, 4th edn. 2003 ISBN 0957852126. Online version available via Health Communication Network.

I Feel Crook Doc" Language, Cultural Issues and Etiquette in the Australian Consulting Room. S Reid. ISBN 0975682962 Second Edition 2006


In addition to the major texts, journals should be read selectively, using editorials, annotations and review articles. The following journals are suggested as source material: Australian Family Physician (www.racgp.org.au/publications), Australian Prescriber (www.australianprescriber.com), British Medical Journal (www.bmj.com), British Journal of Hospital Medicine (www.hospitalmedicine.co.uk), Current Therapeutics (www.ctonline.com.au), Lancet (www.thelancet.com), Medical Journal of Australia (www.mja.com.au), New England Journal of Medicine (www.content.nejm.org).

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Did you know that for certain jobs AMC exams are not necessarily required.

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