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MRCP SCE Geriatric Medicine

  • October 25, 2021

The MRCP Speciality Specific Examinations (SCE’s) offer Doctors a postgraduate qualification which demonstrates to prospective employing NHS Trusts achievement of a standard required of UK Specialist Trainees. The Royal College of Physicians offer 11 different SCE’s, including Geriatric Medicine. This Blog aims to answer any questions you may have regarding the Geriatric Medicine SCE, including what it specifically tests and how to prepare.

When can I take the Geriatric Medicine SCE and what are the requirements?

The Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Geriatric Medicine is delivered once a year and those dates will become available on the MRCP exams page. There are no entry requirements for the SCE in Geriatric Medicine, although candidates in UK training posts should have taken the SCE by the end of ST5.

What will be Tested?

The Specialty Training Curriculum for Geriatric Medicine is published by the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB). It is important to note that the SCE examination is made up of questions covering the whole curriculum, selected by a predetermined blueprint. Candidates are tested on a wide range of common and important disorders as set out in the syllabus of the curriculum.

The SCE consists of 2 papers, each 3 hours, which means that candidates will have 108 seconds to answer each question. The composition of both papers, which consists of 200 questions, is as follows:

  • Acute illness (Diagnosis and Management)
    • Anaemia/Haematology 1
    • Cardiovascular medicine 4
    • Dermatology 1
    • Endocrine medicine 2
    • Gastroenterology 3
    • Infection 4
    • Musculoskeletal medicine 2
    • Neurology 4
    • Renal medicine including fluid/electric imbalance 2
    • Respiratory medicine 4
    • Sensory impairment 2
  • Basic science and gerontology 6
  • Chronic disease and disability (Diagnosis and Management)
    • Anaemia/Haematology 1
    • Cardiovascular medicine 4
    • Dermatology 1
    • Endocrine medicine 3
    • Gastroenterology 3
    • Infection 4
    • Musculoskeletal medicine 4
    • Neurology 4
    • Renal medicine including fluid/electric imbalance 3
    • Respiratory medicine 4
    • Sensory impairment 2
  • Cognitive Impairment (Delirium and Dementia)
    • Delirium 8
    • Dementia 12
  • Continence 10
  • Falls and poor mobility 16
  • Geriatric assessment
    • Factors affecting health status 5
    • Measurement of health status 3
  • Surgical liaison 3
  • Intermediate care and long-term care 9
  • Nutrition 4
  • Rehabilitation, transfers of care and 14
  • Subspecialty topics
    • Palliative care 10
    • Old age psychiatry 7
    • Orthogeriatrics and osteoporosis 10
    • Stroke care 15
    • Tissue viability

How do I prepare?

Preparation for the SCE requires a wide breadth of knowledge around the curriculum and should involve reading of textbooks, journals and guidelines. Experience of the MRCP(UK) examination provides an excellent background to the format of the examination.

BDI’s top 4 tips for those attempting any of the MRCP SCE’s are as follows:

1) Familiarise yourself with the curriculum

2) Familiarise yourself with the exam blueprint

3) Do a fair amount of reading

4) Do a lot of sample questions

More specifically, for those taking the SCE in Geriatric Medicine, we’d advise looking at the following sources:

  • NICE Guidelines
    • Hypertension
    • Heart Failure
    • Bladder
    • Stroke
    • Delerium
  • Screening Tools
    • Cognition
    • Nutrition
    • Osteoporosis
  • Oxford Handbook of Geriatric Medicine
  • RCP Sample Questions & Mock Exam
  • RCP Clinical Medicine CPD
  • MRCP Part 2 Questions
  • BoF MCQ textbook Duncan Forsyth et al
  • BGS Trainees page


It’s important to note that taking the MRCP SCE will not grant you GMC Registration alone. Whilst the SCEs are a certificate of excellence, you must also have your GMC approved post graduate qualification –in most cases you will pair your SCE with your MRCP.

Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCE) look fantastic on your CV and will certainly help you stand out when applying for NHS jobs. If you have your MRCP and you’re now looking at sitting your SCE, or if you have already completed your SCE and you’re ready to begin your Geriatrics job search in the NHS then we can certainly help. We have a fantastic team of Medical specialists at BDI Resourcing, that are continually working on various Geriatric positions. Do get in touch and send your CV to: [email protected]


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