Blogs > Postgraduate Qualifications

What specialties benefit from sitting MRCP?

  • November 04, 2021

The Royal College of Physicians provides specialty examinations that are globally recognised as a respected way of demonstrating a high level of medical knowledge and clinical skills. The examinations are great for international doctors who are trying to obtain GMC registration in order to work for the NHS in a Medicine position. However, the MRCP examination can benefit a lot of other specialties.

The Royal College Union includes:

  • The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • The Royal College of Physicians and surgeons of Glasgow
  • The Royal College of Physicians of London

What grade position can I get with MRCP?

MRCP examinations allow international Doctor’s access to ST3 positions and above in the NHS. Whilst it is possible for a Doctor with PLAB to be shortlisted for a middle grade position it is important to note that applicants with MRCP will be more preferable and desirable to an NHS Trust. Due to Medicine and its subspecialities being one of the most highly competitive fields within the NHS it is now not uncommon for NHS Trusts to expect at least MRCP part 1 for their more junior roles -such as SHO/ST1/ST2. In light of this, BDI resourcing will always advise taking steps towards completing MRCP.

What Doctors might take MRCP?

  1. Acute and General Medicine Doctors.

MRCP is the most obvious route for Acute and General Medicine Doctors. This qualification is designed to test the skills, knowledge and behaviour of doctors in training. The MRCP(UK) Diploma has been approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) as the knowledge-based assessment for core medical training, and the successful completion of the entire three-part examination is a requirement for physicians wishing to undergo training in a medically related specialty in the UK. Internationally, the MRCP(UK) Diploma is also a valued professional distinction in many other countries.

  1. Other medical subspeciality Doctors

Following on from this, other Doctors that may also choose to take to MRCP examinations but may not consider themselves an acute or general medicine doctor include:

  • Respiratory
  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Rheumatology 
  • Geriatrics / Care of the elderly
  • Dermatology
  • Nephrology
  • Gastroenterology
  1. Intensive care Doctors

UK doctors will naturally take MRCP as there isn’t a specific Royal College qualification for intensive care medicine. With this in mind international doctors may jump to the conclusion that EDIC is the only route that they can take to practice at ST3 level in the NHS. However, MRCP is also an option for them. Doctors in this specialty (also called critical care medicine) are involved in all aspects of care of the critically ill. This includes providing organ system support and the investigation, diagnosis, and treatment of acute illness. It also includes systems management and patient safety, ethics, end-of-life care and the support of families.

  1. Medical Oncology

Entry into Medical Oncology training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Medical Oncology training:

  • Internal Medicine Training Stage one (2 years)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) (3 years)

In light of this, we recommend that International Medical Oncologists obtain MRCP in order to practise in a middle grade and above post in the NHS.

  1. Hematology

Possession of MRCP (UK) is also mandatory requirement for the award of CCT in Hematology. It is expected that UK trainees in Hematology will have completed the examinations for MRCP (UK) (or equivalent) prior to attempting the FRCPath examinations in Hematology.

The MRCP (UK) examination provides valid, reliable evidence of attainment of knowledge, clinical skills and behaviour in acute internal medicine. From 2008 trainees will as a minimum, be required to pass Part 1 MRCP (UK) as the knowledge- based assessment for core training before proceeding to ST3 and specialty training.

Will having SCE help me get an NHS job?

Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCE) look fantastic on your CV and will certainly help you stand out when applying for NHS jobs. Specifically, if you are looking at getting a more senior position then SCE is a way to demonstrate your knowledge. Nevertheless, for international Doctors looking to relocate to the UK and work under the NHS you will also need clinical experience alongside your MRCP and SCE in order to be eligible for those senior positions.

The following is a comprehensive list of SCE’s available:

  • Acute Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology (Now the ESEGH from 2018)
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Medical Oncology
  • Nephrology (Now the ESENeph from 2020)
  • Neurology
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology

The importance of experience

If you are unsure on what level you should be applying for based on your experience then send your CV to: [email protected] and we will be more than happy to asses your CV and advise you on what grade you are currently working at.

If you’re an international doctor looking to relocate to the UK - please also email your CV to: [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of vlogs and blogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go to IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.


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