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ANZHPBA Exam

Information for candidates sitting the ANZHPBA examination at the end of their post-fellowship HPB training.

The ANZHPBA exam will consist of a Written component and a Viva component. The exam will be held over two days. All fellows will be required to attend for both components. There is now an Examination Fee of $1,000. Fellows will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

The Written component of the Exam will consist of 15 questions and will be completed on a Friday morning in Melbourne. The Viva component of the exam will be completed on the Saturday morning in Melbourne with exam times allotted and commencing at 9am.

Each written exam question is marked by two ANZHPBA Board members, using a marking system for each question of clear fail, borderline fail, borderline pass, clear pass. You are required to pass 10 out of the 15 questions.

The questions cover both general and specific problems faced in the practice of HPB surgery but are predominantly based on recent journal articles and reference books provided during your Fellowship, relevant HPB topics covered in the latest 2 Trainee Workshops and subjects that have been presented at recent ANZHPBA Meetings.

The VIVA component will consist of 2 vivas of 30 minutes each with 2 x 15 minute scenarios in each viva. The subject content of VIVA’s will be the usual range of cases – liver, pancreatic, complex biliary case, and, one other case. The vivas will take the format of clinical scenarios with MDT type discussion.

Each examiner will mark each fellow scenario independently using a marking system for each scenario of clear fail, borderline fail, borderline pass, clear pass. You are required to pass 3 out of the 4 scenarios.

Below are 2 examples of clinically focused questions from previous ANZHPBA Fellowship Examinations.

  1. Discuss the advantages, disadvantages and methods of pre-operative biliary drainage in patients with obstructive jaundice due to cancer involving the head of the pancreas.
  2. Evaluate the role of surgery in the management of multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma.

In addition, there may be questions designed to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of quality improvement issues and professional development concepts in your future HPB surgical practice such as the example below.

  1. Discuss the process you would use to introduce robotics into your HPB practice at your hospital.

Usually one of the questions in the exam will have an anatomical focus to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of HPB operative anatomy.

With 10 minutes per question, answers are expected to be concise and focused on the topic but with the candidate required to demonstrate an appropriate depth of knowledge of the issue and understanding of its relevance in their future practice as an HPB specialist surgeon.

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