basic physician training questions

Many of the attendees at our workshops are considering Basic Physician Training (BPT) with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). As are many trainees who use our interview coaching.

Getting a BPT position can be highly competitive. Especially in some of the premier programs.

Here’s a collection of the BPT questions we have gathered to help you in your endeavours.

Basic Physician Training Interview Questions

  1. 70 yr Pt with chest pain. Rural Hospital Emergency Department. Prev renal transplant, diabetic. BP 70/40 diaphoretic. What will u do to assess and manage? ECG shows narrow complex sinus tachycardia. What will you do now?
  2. 92 yo patient brought in by ambulance from nursing home, GCS 9, how do you go about finding the history?
  3. A woman who has felt unwell for several weeks to months comes in with a creatinine of 600 – What do you do? What are the indications for dialysis?
  4. All of us have made mistakes in our careers. Give an example of a mistake you made and what you learnt from it.
  5. As part of the BPT training at POW, BPT candidates are required to go, for at least 3 months of their training, to a rural location. Are you willing to go to our rural hospitals and why/why not?
  6. Clinical scenario = Metastatic colorectal cancer presenting with shortness of breath – What are your differentials and management of this patient?
  7. Clinical scenario = Metastatic prostate cancer patient presenting with lumbar back pain, constipation, abdominal pain and confusion – What are your differentials and management of this patient?
  8. How do you deal with/manage stress?
  9. How do you handle stress?
  10. Name a time that you’ve dealt with conflict and how you handled the situation?
  11. Neurology – Motor neurone disease pt in respiratory failure in ed. How would you approach?
  12. Neurology – Myasthenia gravis pt with sensation of something stuck in their throat – may have a neurological or non neurological problem, do they need admission?
  13. Neurology – Some people say neuro is very difficult, give some reasons why they are wrong
  14. Neurology – Tell us about a development in neurology that interests you
  15. Neurology – Why do you want to do Neuro?
  16. Patient with poorly controlled diabetes presents with foot ulcer under great toe – how would you manage this clinical situation?
  17. Scenario = You are a medical registrar on night shift. You are asked to review a stroke patient on the neurology ward. He is having new fevers, is not responding now to voice and has no advanced care directive in place. On reading the progress notes, you note that this patient has been steadily deteriorating during hospital admission. How would you further manage this patient?
  18. Scenario = You are a medical registrar on the cardiology team. A patient of yours is having an arrhythmia. Your consultant wants to give amiodarone, however the advanced cardiology trainee has reviewed the patient and feels sotalol is sufficient. How would you manage this situation?
  19. Scenario = You are a medical registrar working an afterhours shift. You are called to review a renal patient (60yo) on the ward during a clinical review call for reduced urine output (PACE, RACE). You notice that their renal function has deteriorated significantly from baseline. The patient is also hyperkalaemic, clinically dry and an ABG reveals a high anion gap acidosis. He is also complaining of chest tightness and palpitations on further questioning. The patient has no advanced care directive in place and he is not previously on dialysis. Talk us through your management of this patient. (The interviewers then kept asking questions during your answer, like patient is now hypotensive, what would you do (ie: escalate to rapid response call/ICU involvement), what would you say to ICU when they arrive. Family has arrived, describe to us what you would say to them. How would you discuss the advanced care directive with the patient? What are your differentials?)
  20. Scenario = You notice your fellow BPT is coming in late to work, being depressed in mood and not managing their patients effectively. Describe to us how you would handle this situation?
  21. Scenario: You are a medical registrar on the haematology team. You are currently looking after a NESB patient with end stage myeloma who has severe back pain. The patient’s family are refusing opioid analgesia because they feel this will hasten her death. How would you manage this situation?
  22. Scenario: You feel your consultant is being unnecessarily harsh to your intern. Your intern is very upset about this. How do you manage this situation/what steps do you take in broaching this with your consultant?
  23. Tell us about a difficult time in your life and how you managed it/came through it.
  24. Tell us something non medical about who you are?
  25. What do you feel are the roles and responsibilities of a BPT?
  26. What do you know about the RACP PREP program?
  27. What do you understand the BPT role to be?
  28. What have you done to manage stress?
  29. What is a physician?
  30. What is a physician/what does it mean to be a physician/what are the qualities of a BPT?
  31. What is hypotension, how do you measure/define it, list the causes
  32. What qualities do you possess that make you a good leader?
  33. What skills/qualities do you possess that makes you capable of becoming a good physician?
  34. What would you change about the healthcare system?
  35. Where do you find yourself in 5 years?
  36. Which medical professional, whom you have worked with, do you admire most
  37. Why do you want to do BPT at [xx]?
  38. Why do you want to do BPT in the [xx] network? What do you have to offer for our BPT program?
  39. Why have you chosen the [xx]network to do BPT at?
  40. Why have you chosen to do BPT in the [xx] network?
  41. Woman with metastatic breast cancer – you are asked to review her as she has haematemesis and is tachycardic and hypotensive. Before you call consultant she arrests – what would you do now?
  42. You are a first term BPT, and your boss is unsupportive, rude, exercises poor judgement, and often rounds out of hours, how do you handle this situation?
  43. You are called by your intern after hours when you are the most senior person in the hospital. The intern is with a post operative patient that has collapsed. What would you do in terms of further management? What is your differential diagnoses list
  44. You are working in a busy rural hospital when you note your colleague is over worked and stressed. How would you approach the situation?
  45. You have just diagnosed a patient from a NESB with terminal pancreatic cancer. A family member approaches you, insisting that the diagnosis remain kept from the patient. How do you manage this situation?
  46. Your patient is a lady that has presented with community acquired pneumonia. She has a background of metastatic ovarian cancer. Discuss goals of care with her. Family is very keen that she should be for everything.

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