• continuing medical education;
  • educational needs assessment;
  • emergency medicine;
  • survey


Objective:  To determine the degree of confidence perceived by Fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine for a variety of procedural, patient management, educational and research skills, and tasks that may be required of them.

Method:  Mailed survey with Likert scales and grouped qualitative responses.

Results:  More than 90% of emergency physicians (EP) feel usually or always confident of their skills for peripheral vascular access, procedural sedation, fluid resuscitation, tube thoracostomy, managing patients with altered conscious state, cardiac emergencies, behavioural disturbance, and interpreting acid base and other blood tests. Less than 50% felt confident performing surgical airways, ED ultrasound, managing neonatal emergencies or interpreting MRI. Of non-clinical skills, while most EP were confident of their ability to write references, debrief staff, lead group tutorials and prepare slides, a minority felt usually or always confident about budgeting and finance, preparing submissions, dealing with the media, appearing in court or marking examination papers. Whilst nearly 75% were confident about the information technology skills required of them for clinical practice, less than 25% of EP felt confident about conducting research and less than 15% were confident applying or interpreting statistics.

Conclusion:  This information may assist in the planning of future educational interventions for EP.