If you are an international Ophthalmologist who wants to work in the UK above ST3+ level, you have three postgraduate qualifications available to you:
Please note, the award of FRCOphth does not allow for direct entry onto the GMC Register. As an international doctor, if you want to be on the register you must either hold an acceptable postgradudate qualification or sit the PLAB exams along with FRCOphth.
In this post, we provide an overview of FRCOphth. We cover exam costs, formats, modules tested and list some excellent revision resources.
There are three exam elements to the FRCOphth qualification.
The Royal College states that you do not need any previous experience in Ophthalmology to apply for the exam. There are three sittings per
Please note, you will be permitted a maximum of six attempts in which to pass the Part 1 FRCOpth examination.
This examination comprises of two theoretical papers
To sit FRCPOphth Part 2 Written examination, you will need to have passed Part 1 FRCOphth and there are two sittings held a year. Typically in the months of June and November.
You will be permitted a maximum of four attempts with this exam.
The examination comprises of two question papers, each with 90 questions – a total of 180 multiple choice questions.
You will have two hours to answer each paper.
To obtain the final element of FRCOphth, you would need to pass the Part 2 element. There are three sittings held a year. The UK sittings are usually held in April and November and then there is one sitting in Singapore each year.
You will be permitted a maximum of four attempts for this exam.
This part of the exam consists of a series of five stations, with ten minutes per station. You will be permitted
The stations are:
There will be two examiners present at each station.
The communication station is in an OSCE format and there will be a patient actor, you will be given five minutes to read the scenario before answering questions.
There will be five stations and three patients at each station, with 20 minutes per station.
The Royal College stipulates that equipment will be provided
You will be asked to discuss your findings and management plan with each patient.
Anatomy, Physiology, Ocular Physiology, Physiology of vision, Biochemistry and cell biology, Pathology, Immunology, Growth and Senescence, Optics, Therapeutics, Lasers, Epidemiology and Evidence-based Medicine, Instrument technology, Biostatics, Clinical Genetics, Patient Investigation, Orthoptic Assessment, Assessment of Corneal Shape, Structure and Thickness, Assessment of Corneal Shape, Structure and Thickness, Retinal and Optic Nerve Imagine, Ocular Angiography, Ultrasonography, Radiology and other neuro-imaging, Ocular and Neuro-Physiology, Biochemistry, Haematology, Pathology, Microbiology, Biometry, Allergy Testing, Urinalysis and Bone Scans.
Please note, the above list is not exhaustive. Please click here for more information.
Sample Exam Questions
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The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Examinations - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Part 1 FRCOphth Candidate tips - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Part 2 FRCOphth Written candidate tips - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Part 2 FRCOphth Oral candidate tips - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.