Short Answer Management Problems (SAMPS)

The written examination is comprised of short answer management problems (SAMPs) designed to test a candidate's recall of factual knowledge and problem solving abilities in the area of definition of health problems, management of health problems, and critical appraisal.  

The Short Answer Management Problems (SAMPs) are intended to measure a candidate’s problem solving skills and knowledge in the context of a clinical situation. Basic information regarding the presentation of the patient will be provided and a series of three or four questions will follow for each scenario. When answering questions in this examination, please read the question carefully, and provide only the information that is requested. For the most part, each question will require a single word, short phrase or short list as a response.

This portion of the examination will be four hours in length. An additional 15 minutes has been incorporated into the exam session time to allow candidates to take a rest/refreshment break. This break is optional and can be taken at any time during the examination.

SAMPs are delivered using computer-based technology administered by Prometric Canada. The video demonstration is designed to provide an orientation to the functionality and features of the Prometric testing interface candidates will use on exam day. Follow the link entitled “What to expect” for a description of the registration process that occurs in all Prometric administered testing centers.

In an effort to help candidates prepare for the family medicine examination, the Committee on Examinations has authorized the release of some SAMPs used on previous examinations. The purpose is to give candidates some sense of the format and content they can expect to meet at the time of the exam, and to demonstrate the correct way to answer questions. These SAMPs are not intended to be study aids.

The evaluation objectives, including topics and key features guide the College’s Committee on Examinations in the development of the test items for the Certification Examination in Family Medicine. These materials/documents serve to ensure that the examination maintains acceptable validity and reliability. To do this, the evaluation objectives have been designed to clearly describe the domain of competence to be tested within each topic area. Majority of the cases are based on these evaluation objectives.

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