International medical graduates wanting to get their GMC registration for practising medicine in the UK have the option of taking the PLAB exams (soon to be replaced by the UKMLA). However, suppose you want to do a specific speciality and achieve a more senior role in the NHS. In that case, you can get a qualification that reflects that – the EDIC (European Diploma of Intensive Care Medicine) is one of them. If you want to work in the ICU for the NHS, this diploma is the best step for achieving that.
The EDIC was created to get everyone working in intensive care in Europe to a standardised level, ensuring high-quality care everywhere. Part one tests theoretical knowledge, whereas part two tests expertise, professional conduct, and general competencies – that’s the one we’ll focus on in this article.
The EDIC part two costs €850 for ESICM members and €1050 for people who are not members. While part one is a multiple-choice exam paper, part two is quite different: it’s a practical exam that allows you to demonstrate that you can use your skills and knowledge in realistic clinical scenarios. You do this over six stations – three on clinical cases and three on computer stations.
The criteria for sitting the EDIC part 2 are as follows:
Applying for EDIC part two looks similar to part one, so you shouldn’t find it too much trouble. First, use your ESMIC log-in to register for a part two booking, and then wait for the EDIC Secretariat to validate the process. You’ll be notified automatically as soon as this happens, at which point the fee will be taken from your credit card.
The exam is split into six stations, and you have around two hours to complete them. The first three stations are clinical situations, where you’ll use your problem-solving skills for patient charts. The second three stations are computer stations, where you will be provided with exam reports and diagnostic tools. You’ll need to make decisions based on the information given.
In 2023, the EDIC part two will be done virtually (much like part one). However, it has been held in test centres in other years. You should check the ESICM website to see what format the exam is in if you’re reading this after 2023!
For the virtual EDIC part two exam, you must adhere to the rules laid out by ESICM, including ensuring a quiet room, having a strong internet connection, and showing your face at all times. These are crucial.
You can take the EDIC part two exam up to three times to pass. However, it’s best to try your hardest to pass on the first go, especially considering the cost and how long it takes to prepare. Here are some tips to help you pass the first time:
If you go to the ESICM website, you will find plenty of resources to help you study for the EDIC part two exam. Use these to help keep your studies on the set curriculum, ensuring you know what to expect on exam day.
It always helps to have guidance for exams, and that’s what a preparation course provides. With a prep course, you will be guided through the material and be able to take mock exams to see how you’re doing. Ideally, take a preparation course that lasts more than a month.
As the EDIC part two is a practical exam, you must improve your communication skills. To do that, practice exam-style scenarios with your colleagues or study buddies. Remember – practice makes perfect!
While there are preparation courses specifically designed for cramming, you ideally want to avoid this. Those who pass generally give themselves plenty of time to study. Your study may involve taking a prep course, practising with colleagues, using the ESCIM’s online resources, and – of course – reading. Spread this out over months so you can absorb all the information. Here are some books we recommend:
Failing happens – don’t worry too much about it. If you happen to fail EDIC part two, you have two more attempts, as the ESMIC allow three goes in total. However, it’s essential to prepare properly for your next exam, considering where you went wrong and how you can change it the next time. Some common mistakes candidates make with the EDIC part two include:
If you pass, then congratulations! You will be awarded the European Diploma of Intensive Care Medicine. Next, you can use this alongside your IELTS or OET to get on the GMC register, which will in turn allow you to practise medicine in the UK. When working for the NHS in the UK, you can further your training, perhaps specialising in a more specific area of ICU, such as cardiac intensive care medicine, transfer medicine, or education.
Earning your European Diploma of Intensive Care Medicine means you have a well-respected qualification behind you that allows you to work in intensive care units. It also paves the way for GMC registration, allowing you to work for the NHS. Part two is crucial for that and shows that you can handle realistic clinical scenarios in an intensive care environment.
You might wonder, what is working in the ICU in the UK actually like? Fortunately, we cover just that in the next article, so you can know what to expect from the first day.
The road to working in the NHS is a long one and we’re here to support you every step of the way – if you have any questions or queries that we didn’t answer in this blog then please reach out and we’ll be happy to help.
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