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Overview of FRCEM Primary

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 13, 2019

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine offers a series of examinations which can lead to either a Membership or Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM). How to achieve MRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ MRCEM Final: OSCE How to achieve FRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ and Situational Judgement FRCEM Final: Critical Appraisal, Quality Improvement Project, Clinical Short Answer Question Paper, OSCE Cost of the FRCEM Primary Exam: £310 Format of the FRCEM Primary Exam: A 3-hour, multiple-choice question paper of 180 single-best-answer questions. Am I eligible to sit FRCEM Primary? The FRCEM Primary exam will test your knowledge against the Emergency Medicine 2015 Curriculum with more details information provided in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum (June 2010). To apply for the exam, you will need to hold a GMC approved primary medical qualification for the purposes of registration. Please note, typically, there is not a restriction on the number of places available for the FRCEM Primary examination, but candidates may not always be allocated their first-choice venue. 2019 FRCEM Primary Examination Dates Date Centre Application Open Date Application Closing Date 13th June 2019 London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Reykjavik, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat 2nd January 2019 4TH March 2019 5th December 2019 London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Reykjavik, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat 1st July 2019 3rd September 20119 Structure and Content of the FRCEM Primary Anatomy – 60 questions Lower limb, thorax, abdomen, head and neck, central nervous system and cranial nerve lesions. Physiology – 60 questions Respiratory physiology, cardiovascular physiology, gastrointestinal physiology, renal physiology, and endocrine physiology. Pharmacology -27 questions Gastrointestinal pharmacology, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, central nervous system, infections, endocrine system, fluids and electrolytes, musculoskeletal system, immunological products and vaccines, anaesthesia. Microbiology – 18 questions Pathogen and principles of microbiology. Pathology – 9 questions Inflammatory responses, infection, wound healing and haematology. Evidence-based medicine – 6 questions Statistics, study methodology and principles of critical appraisal. How to successfully prepare for FRCEM Primary? Give yourself enough time to prepare confidently and successfully Utilise the curriculum - according to doctors who have sat the FRCEM Primary exam, it is very representative of the exam content – making it a fantastic revision guide Practice mock exams – this will provide you with a good picture of your strength and weaknesses, allowing you to narrow down your revision Useful Revision Resources Books FRCEM Primary – All in One Revision Notes for FRCEM Primary Question Banks FRCEM Exam Bookstore Question Bank FRCEM Success YouTube Videos Bromley Emergency Courses James Rowley References Rcem.ac.uk. (2019). Dates and Fees. [online] Available at: https://www.rcem.ac.uk/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Dates_Fees/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Dates_and_Fees.aspx [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019]. Ponder Med. (2019). Revision Tips for the MRCEM A/FRCEM Primary - Ponder Med. [online] Available at: https://www.pondermed.com/mrcem-exams/revision-tips-for-the-mrcem-afrcem-primary/ [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].  

Overview of First FRCR

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 04, 2019

To work as a Radiologist in the UK, you will need full FRCR and a pass in IELTS or OET – obtaining these qualifications will provide you with GMC Registration. Full FRCR includes passing: First FRCR, FRCR 2A, FRCR 2B. In today’s post, we focus on First FRCR. We cover the exam cost, structure, modules tested, exam test centres and useful revision resources. What is the purpose of FRCR? The First FRCR exam expects doctors to have gained an appropriate level of knowledge of the physical principles that underpin diagnostic medical imaging and of the anatomy needed to perform and interpret radiological studies. Cost Physics £253 Anatomy £253 Total £506 The Examination Structure The exam consists of two modules: Anatomy – examined by an image viewing session delivered on individual workstations Physics – is a multiple-choice question paper Both of the exams are held over a two-day period three times a year: typically, in March, June and September. The two exams will be held on different days. Click here to find out upcoming exam dates. You will be deemed to pass the First FRCR once both exam modules have been passed. Please note, you cannot attempt First FRCR more than six times. How do I know if I am eligible to apply? The Royal College of Radiologists requires applicants to hold a formal clinical radiology training post in which they are actively receiving clinical radiology training to enter the First FRCR exam. However, no minimum period is required to enter. Where can I sit the exam? UK locations: Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester. International locations: Hong Kong and Singapore. Examination Format Anatomy – Image viewing module You will be presented with 100 images with one question per image. Most of the questions will be structured as “what structure does the arrow point to?” however, you may also be asked “what anatomical variant is demonstrated?” or “at what age does the structure arrowed normally fuse during skeletal development”? The exam format will be as follows: Cross-sectional: 1/3 Plain radiographs: 1/3 Contrast studies: 1/3 You will be tested within the following modules: head, neck and spine, chest and cardiovascular, abdomen and pelvis and musculoskeletal. There will also be a few questions Paediatric images and normal variants.   You will have 90 minutes to view the images and record your answers. You will receive two marks for a correct answer and one mark for an answer which is correct but not completely accurate and zero marks for an incorrect answer. During the exam, keystrokes and screen activity are monitored and recorded centrally. What revision books should I use? Passing FRCR Part 1: Cracking Anatomy FRCR Part 1 Anatomy Mock Examinations Radiological Anatomy for FRCR Part 1 Physics – Multiple Choice Question Paper This exam consists of 200 true or false questions and you will be presented with 40 stems (question or statement) and then five statements for each stem which will need to be marked true or false. You will have two hours to answer the questions. During this exam, you will be tested in the following areas: basic science, x-ray imaging, CT imaging, ultrasound imaging, MR imaging, nuclear imaging, radiation dosimetry and protection and legislation. Please note, the exam is not negatively marked and therefore you are encouraged to answer all questions. What revision books should I use? Get Through First FRCR: Multiple-Choice-Questions for the Physics Module FRCR Physics Notes A Radiologist’s on Physics for the FRCR Exam Are there any online resources I can use? Radiology Café Revise Radiology Radiology Multiple-Choice-Questions Please click here to gain access to the Royal College’s Guidance Notes for Applicants. Are you looking for your first NHS post? Join our Facebook Group, IMG Advisor – Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to answer questions and receive professional support. If you have made steps towards obtaining your GMC Registration – email your CV to [email protected] and we would love to support you through the process. References Clarke, C. (2019). First FRCR exam. ] Radiology Cafe. Available at: https://www.radiologycafe.com/radiology-trainees/first-frcr-exam#physics_books [Accessed 4 Feb. 2019]. Rcr.ac.uk. (2019). First FRCR Examination | The Royal College of Radiologists. ] Available at: https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/examinations/first-frcr-examination [Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].    

Overview of FRCPath Histopathology

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 18, 2019

The Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologist exams into sub-speciality exams. In this post, we provide you with an overview of the FRCPath Histopathology exam. Including exam fees, eligibility, exam formats, topics covered and tips on successfully passing. Fees Exam Type Cost Part 1 Examination £647 Part 1 examination overseas (outside of the UK and Ireland) £880 Part 2 examination £1361 Eligibility Part 1 You are expected at least one year of Histopathology training and be equivalent to ST2 level before applying. Part 2 The Royal College expects you to sit the Part 2 exam after three years of training in Histopathology. You should not attempt Part 2 until at least 12 months after successfully passing Part 1. The Royal College of Pathologists suggests that prior to applying for the FRCPath Histopathology should ask for guidance from your educational supervisor as to when to sit the exam. When can I sit the exam? The Royal College of Pathology offers the FRCPath Histopathology Part 1 and Part 2 twice a year, in Spring and Autumn. Click here to apply. Exam format and topics covered Part 1 Format Part 1 of the Histopathology exam is comprised of 125 multiple choice questions, including a mix of one-best-answer and extended-matching formats. The exam duration is three hours and its purpose is to assess your overall knowledge and understanding of /, including the full range of autopsy practices undertaken in UK district general hospitals. Part 2 – Practical Examination Format The second part of the Histopathology Part 2 exam of six parts taken over the course of two days: 1. Surgical Histology You will be presented with 20 cases of 10 pairs of haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides in 20-minute slots over 3 hours 20 minutes on the second morning. The cases are drawn from a wide range of organ the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract, gynaecological tract, breast, skin, soft tissue respiratory, urological, and endocrine systems. This list is not comprehensive and material from paediatric and areas may also be included from within the systems listed above. The questions will expect you to provide a diagnosis and the more complex cases will require you to provide a more detailed description, a diagnosis and special techniques. 2. Cytopathology The second part will include 8 non-gynaecological cytology cases provided in pairs in 20-minute slots on the first morning of the exam. 3. Pathology Next, you will be presented with four cases in the form of of gross pathology specimens. Formal written reports are not required in this exercise, as you will be tested on your ability to discuss gross pathology and familiarity with block selection in the context of the RCPath Minimum Datasets. 4. This part of the exam consists of 2 x 20-minute stations, one of which is a face-to-face exam whilst the other is a written exercise. You will be tested on management/clinical governance and multi-disciplinary team type cases. 5. Long cases You will also be presented with 4 x 20-minute stations on the first afternoon. The stations will include: H&E stained sections, (liver and renal biopsies), (tumours and lymph nodes), (skin and renal biopsies) and electron microscopy (renal biopsies, tumours etc.) This list is not exhaustive and other types of cases may also be used. 6.  Frozen Sections Within this part of the exam, there will be 6 cases to be viewed in 2 x 20-minute stations (3 cases per station). Here, you should make notes and provide ‘bottom line’ diagnosis only, to form the discussion with the examiner. Tips for helping you pass FRCPath Haematology  Register early – There is a high demand for sitting the FRCPath exams. If you register early you can plan your revision to fit the exam schedule and reduce the risk of missing out on your perfect time slot. Start revising early – We advise you to start revising at least six months in advance of each exam to prepare adequately. Although some doctors pass with less preparation time, do not risk it. If you start your exam revision as early as possible you will increase your chance of passing. Use a varied range of revision resources – do not just stick to one big textbook for your revision. The additional use of online courses, discussion forums and online tests will increase your knowledge and confidence when it comes to the exam itself. Please see the resources we have listed below. Try to cover all topics evenly – Excellent knowledge of smaller topics such as statistics, ophthalmology and psychiatry will allow you to collect extra marks for only a short period of study. Check the Royal College’s exam regulations. Useful Resources Part 1 Sample Questions Kids Virtual Pathology, University of Leeds John Hopkins Medical Pathology Cases Question and Answers Good luck! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive relocation support and advice – free of charge! And the chance to meet other IMGs… References Rcpath.org. (2019). . ] Available at: https://www.rcpath.org/trainees/examinations/examinations-by-specialty/histopathology.html [Accessed 18 Jan. 2019].

Overview of FRCPath Haematology

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 09, 2019

FRCPath The Fellowship of Royal College of Pathologist exams are broken into sub-specialty exams. In this post, we provide you with an overview of the FRCPath Haematology exam. Including exam fees, eligibility, exam formats, topics covered and tips on successfully passing. Haematology The FRCPath Haematology exam is designed to test the doctor’s knowledge, skills and behaviour within Haematology. Please note, if you train through the UK system then you will also be required to obtain MRCP prior to attempting the FRCPath Haematology exams. Further information on MRCP can be found here. Exam Fees Part 1 Examination £647 Part 1 Overseas Examination (outside of the UK and Ireland) £880 Part 2 Examination £1361   Haematology Part 1 Exam Eligibility It is expected for doctors to have obtained at least two years’ experience of specialty training within Haematology in order to achieve the standard required pass mark in the Part 1 exam. Exam Format The Haematology Part 1 exam comprises of two written papers. Paper 1 – Essay Paper This exam will last for 3 hours and you are required to complete four compulsory essay questions. The test will be broken down into four parts: Blood transfusions General Haematology (including laboratory management) Haematological oncology Haemostasis and thrombosis The examiner will test your ability to present a clear answer, organise and communicate relevant information and knowledge, display an appropriate knowledge of disease pathogenesis, diagnostic investigation, established therapies and new developments and relate this to clinical and laboratory practice, select an appropriate course of action and critically evaluate investigational strategies, treatment options or recent advances. Paper 2 – Multiple Choice Questions and Extended Matching Item Questions This exam will last for 3 hours and contains 125 multiple choice questions. You will be tested within: pathogenesis, investigation and management of haematological disease, the use of therapeutic modalities and aspects of laboratory and clinical practice. 50 of those questions are in the ‘best from five’ format and 75 questions are ‘extended matching’ format. Please note, no marks will be deducted for an incorrect answer. This paper is also broken down into four parts: Blood transfusion General Haematology (including laboratory management) Haematological oncology Haemostasis and thrombosis A small number of marks will go to your research methodology, ethics and statistics. Haematology Part 2 Exam Eligibility You will be eligible to sit Part 2 of the exam after successfully passing Part 1. The Royal College of Pathologists advises that doctors take the Haematology Part 2 exam after 3 years of specialty training within Haematology, i.e. equivalent to ST6 level. Exam Format The exam comprises of three written papers and an oral examination. The exam will be held simultaneously over three days at a number of accredited examination centres in the UK. This exam is not available to sit overseas. Please click here for a list of overseas examination centres. Topics Covered Morphology, transfusion and coagulation. Oral Examination You will be tested on 8 different topics that have to be answered in 60 minutes. The examination covers 2 topics in Coagulation, 2 topics in Transfusion Medicine, 2 topics in General & Laboratory Haematology and 2 topics in Haematological Oncology. The purpose of the exam is to test your ability to evaluate problems and demonstrate good clinical judgement. You will also be tested on your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Tips for helping you pass FRCPath Haematology   Register early – There is a high demand for sitting the FRCPath exams. If you register early you can plan your revision to fit the exam schedule and reduce the risk of missing out on your perfect time slot. Start revising early – We advise you to start revising at least six months in advance of each exam to prepare adequately. Although some doctors pass with less preparation time, do not risk it. If you start your exam revision as early as possible you will increase your chance of passing. Use a varied range of revision resources – do not just stick to one big textbook for your revision. The additional use of online courses, discussion forums and online tests will increase your knowledge and confidence when it comes to the exam itself. Please see the resources we have listed below. Try to cover all topics evenly – Excellent knowledge of smaller topics such as statistics, ophthalmology and psychiatry will allow you to collect extra marks for only a short period of study. Check the Royal College’s exam regulations. Useful Resources Revision Notes from iHaematology Practice Questions from iHaematology Online Revision Resources from HaemBase FRCPath Haematology Paper 1 Past Questions FRCPath Haematology Paper 2 Past Questions Join our Facebook Group - IMG Advisor  By joining, you will have access to specialist blog posts, relocation advice and support and the chance to meet other IMGs.  References Rcpath.org. (2019). Haematology. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpath.org/trainees/examinations/examinations-by-specialty/haematology.html [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Paediatrics Training Pathway

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 27, 2018

After you have completed your medical undergraduate degree and foundation/internship years, you may decide to pursue a career in Paediatrics. In this post, we provide you with details on the UK training pathway and information on how to become a UK Consultant Paediatrician if you completed your training overseas. The Training Pathway The Paediatric training pathway consists of three levels. All doctors must complete level one and two of the General Paediatric curriculum and then, at level three they can decide if they want to pursue General Paediatrics or to complete their training within a sub-specialty. Level Duration Training 1: ST1-ST3 24-36 months General Paediatrics 2: ST4-ST5 12-24 months General Paediatrics (12 months) Neonatology (6 months) Community Paediatrics (6 months) 3: ST6-ST8 24-36 months General Paediatrics (24-36 months) with 12 months within sub-specialty OR Sub-specialty training (24-36 months) Level 1 – ST1-ST3 During your first three years, you will be training within General Paediatrics based in acute settings including emergency duties, in and outpatients and neonates. Please note, you must have completed all of your MRCPCH exams by the end of ST3 level. Level 2 – ST4-ST5 Your training during this period will be held mainly in a District General Hospital using existing core training posts and rotations including community Paediatrics and Neonatology. You will also receive training within Community Paediatrics. During this time your training will place greater emphasis on outpatients, child development and safeguarding. Level 3 – ST6-ST8 When you reach this level, you may choose to enter into sub-specialty training or stay in general training. Please click here for a list of the 17 Paediatric sub-specialty training. When you apply for sub-specialty training it will be done via a competitive selection into what is known as GRID training. Once you have completed your sub-specialty training, you will then be entered onto the Specialist Register with the GMC. Consultant Level To work as a Consultant in the UK, you must be on the Specialist Register. How do I get onto the Specialist Register? There are three routes to getting onto the Specialist Register and working as a UK Consultant: Route 1, obtaining your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT): All of your specialty curriculum must have been completed within a UK training post. Route 2, Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme (CESR CP): To be eligible for this award, your training would have been undertaken both in the UK and overseas (a non-approved training post). Route 3, Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR): This route is for doctors who believe they do not need to undergo further specialist training because they have acquired sufficient non-GMC approved training, experience and qualifications for direct entry onto the UK specialist register. For further information on the difference between the three pathways please click here. If you are an international Paediatrician who holds MRCPCH, please email your CV to [email protected] and our Paediatrics Specialist Sebastian will be in touch about helping you find your first NHS post. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! References JRCPTB. (2018). Routes to the register. [online] Available at: https://www.jrcptb.org.uk/training-certification/routes-register [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/582.5#applying-to-paediatrics [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. Rcpch.ac.uk. (2018). Training guide | RCPCH. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/training-guide [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018].

Changes to the MRCPCH Clinical Exam

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 29, 2018

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have announced changes to the MRCPCH Clinical Exam (the final exam of the qualification structure). These changes will help to ensure that the exam remains consistent across all test centres and will provide candidates with useful feedback on their exam attempt. In this post, we provide you with the requirements of sitting MRCPCH Clinical, the changes implemented and some advice on passing the exam! MRCPCH Clinical Exam Requirements The Royal College recommend that in order to optimise your chances of success in the MRCPCH Clinical exam they recommend that you have: Completed at least two and a half years of Paediatric training Spent no less than 12 months in posts involving Emergency Paediatric Care Spent six months of your first year after graduation as a house Paediatrician, if not, an additional six months in a post involving Emergency Paediatric Care Where can I sit MRCPCH Clinical? The UK, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Singapore, Sudan and the UAE. What are the changes? Clinical Stations – You will no longer need to provide a management plan within the 9-minute station and there will now be four clinical stations instead of five. Video Stations – They will no longer form a multiple-choice-question format but will be replaced with a structured discussion with an examiner after you have watched the video. There will be two video stations, both 9-minutes in length. The Development Station – This station is being extended to 22-minutes in length and it will now ask you to complete a full developmental assessment including gathering information from a parent or carer. The Marking Sheets – You will now be scored on several competencies rather than a single mark at each station. This will provide you with more detailed feedback and help you in creating a future professional development plan. Please note, the content will remain the same. When is this change happening? September 2019 – India and September October 2019 – The remaining countries with a test centre Click here for access to our blog: Overview of MRCPCH BDI’s Advice on passing MRCPCH Clinical It is important to remember that the Clinical Exam is not a test of knowledge, this has already been proven in the written papers. Tip 1 – Communication – A large part of the exams mark scheme is based on communication. Ask your colleagues to run scenarios with you and listen to their feedback. Tip 2 – System – Ensure you have a systematic approach for every station, revision books will help you with this! And remember to take your time, do not rush into providing an answer. Tip 3 – Practice, practice, practice – Try and meet up with a friend who has young children and practice on them. Tip 4 – Engagement – If the child is old enough to talk, kneel down to their height, introduce yourself, speak to them in terms they can understand but do not be condescending. If you are a Paediatrician who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS, send your CV to [email protected] and our Paediatrics Specialist Sebastian will be in touch with you. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Rcpch.ac.uk. (2018). MRCPCH Clinical examination changes - from September 2019 | RCPCH. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/news-events/news/mrcpch-clinical-exam-changes-september-2019?fbclid=IwAR1JROpDT3B6sxUEYknGDHnoEj6zh-lfi3oCMfOtQ9g4fzJq9nPmwwIZJQ8 [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

Overview of FRCA

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 04, 2018

To become a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists by examination, you must pass: The Primary Exam Multiple-Choice-Question Paper OSCE and SOE The Final Exam Multiple-Choice-Question Paper Short-Answer-Question Exam SOE Those who pass the above exams will then be able to use the letters FRCA (Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists) after their name, as long as you are a Fellow or Member of the College. Exam Fees Primary MCQ £325 Primary OSCE & SOE £600 Primary OSCE £330 Primary SOE £300 Final Written Exam £480 Final SOE £565 Primary FRCA This part of the exam is broken into two sections (taken separately) Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OCSE) and Structure Oral Examination (SOE) Please note that you must pass the Primary FRCA MCQ before you can apply to sit the OSCE/SOE. The MCQ has a three-year validity. You must then pass the Primary Exam before applying for the Final FRCA. A pass in the Primary FRCA is valid for seven years as part eligibility towards the Final FRCA. Multiple-Choice-Question Exam Format Structure of the Exam The Primary MCQ consists of 90 multiple-choice-questions (60 x Multiple True False and 30 Single Best Answers in three hours). 20 MTF question in pharmacology 20 MTF questions in physiology, including related biochemistry and anatomy 20 questions in physics, clinical measurement and data interpretation 30 SBA questions in any of the categories listed above The exam is held three times a year in March, September and November. The exam is held at several venues across the UK in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OCS) and Structure Oral Examination Please note that the FRCA OSCE and SOE must be taken together at the first attempt. If one component is failed only that component must be retaken. If you fail both sections, then you must retake them together. Purpose of the Exam The Primary OSCE and SOE examinations are blueprinted to the Basic Level Curriculum. The OSCE examination tests skills (both procedural and cognitive) which are underpinned by knowledge. The SOE tests your depth of knowledge and understanding of mechanisms and relevance. These exams will take place at the Royal College, Churchill House, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4SG. Structure of the OSCE Exam During this part of the exam, there will be 18 stations in one hour and 48 minutes. Of which 16 stations will count towards your result. Currently, the stations comprise of: Resuscitation Technical Skills Anatomy (General) History-taking Physical Examination Communication Skills Anaesthetic Hazards Interpretation of x-rays Structure of the SOE Exam There are two sub-sections to the SOE section comprising: 30-minutes; consisting of three-questions in pharmacology and three-questions in physiology and biochemistry; followed by 30-minutes consisting of three-questions in physics, clinical measurement, equipment and safety and three-questions on clinical topics (including a critical incident). Final FRCA This part of the exam has two sections (taken separately) Final Written exam consisting of MCQ and a Short Answer Question (SAQ) exam The Structure Oral Examination (SOE) Please note you must pass the Primary FRCA before you can apply for the Final FRCA. You must also pass the Final Written component before you apply for the SOE. The Final Written exam has a three-year validity. Purpose of the Exam The Final Written Examination is a stand-alone exam, applied for separately from the Final SOE Examination. The aim of the MCQ is to test your factual knowledge. The SAQ aims to test your higher thinking including judgement, ability to prioritise and summarise, and capability to present an argument clearly and succinctly in writing. Structure of the Exam Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 90 MCQ Examinations (60 x Multiple True False and 30 Single-Best-Answers in three-hours) Short-Answer-Questions (SAQs) 12 compulsory questions in three-hours normally comprising of: Six questions from mandatory units: Anaesthetic practice relevant to neurosurgery, neuroradiology and neuro-critical care, cardiothoracic surgery, intensive care medicine, obstetrics, paediatrics and pain medicine. Six questions from the remaining part of the curriculum. This includes general duties (airway management, day surgery, critical care incidents, general/urology/gynaecology surgery, ENT/maxilla-facial/dental surgery, management of respiratory and cardiac arrest, non-theatre duties, orthopaedic surgery, regional anaesthesia, sedation practice, transfer medicine, trauma and stabilization practice) optional units (ophthalmic surgery, plastics and burns surgery, vascular surgery), advanced sciences (anatomy, applied clinical pharmacology, applied physiology/biochemistry, physics/clinical measurement and statistical basis of clinical trial management) and professionalism in medical practice. There will be a maximum of one question from the optional units. The written exam is held twice a year in September and March and is held at several venues across the UK. Currently: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. The Structure Oral Examination (SOE) The purpose The Final SOE comprises of two sections: Clinical short cases with linked clinical science questions Clinical anaesthesia (long and short cases) The aim of the clinical parts of the exam is to allow you to complement the Written Based Answers and examine the understanding and theoretical application of knowledge in clinical practice. Please note you must pass the Final Written Examination (in the preceding three-years) is required before you can sit the SOE. Link to example SOE Questions. Our guide to passing FRCA The fundamental reason people fail their FRCA exams is the lack of preparation. In this section of the blog, we aim to provide you with guidance on how to successfully pass your exams. Plan plan plan – This planning period involves both mental preparation and physical preparation. Revising for your exams will take up a lot of your time and energy and so it is important to get organised in order to motivate yourself for an exam in six months’ times. Finances – It is important to calculate how much taking the FRCR exams is going to cost you. These financial factors include the cost of books, courses (with concurrent travel and accommodation), the exam fees, and accommodation and travel to London or other UK cities for the exam. Syllabus – The Royal College has revealed that candidates who fail their exams is a result of poor study technique, particularly an ability in following the syllabus when structuring their revision. So, our advice to you is to use the syllabus for the exam and create a road-map ticking off each section of the revision when you have completed it. Courses – Some candidates enjoy partaking in a revision course. Courses are beneficial because they allow you to apply your knowledge to medical practise whilst providing you with valuable teaching and experience which cannot be gained from revising from books. Please click here for a list of available courses. Books – Some books are fundamental to passing FRCA, and some others are available that are a personal choice depending on your learning style. The best place to start is to look at the Anaesthesia UK recommended Primary FRCA Book List. Second, is the Royal College’s Resources list. Study leave – If you are planning on attending a revision course, you will need to check with your department how much study leave you qualify for prior to booking and do not forget to factor in the exam periods. We would like to wish anyone who is sitting their FRCA exams a big good luck! And if you are a doctor who has recently obtained your fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists then send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Come and join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here you will have frequent access to our relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional answers and to meet other IMGs! References Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Primary FRCA MCQ | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/primary-frca-mcq [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018]. Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Primary FRCA OSCE/SOE | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/primary-frca-osce-soe [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018]. Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Final FRCA Written | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/final-frca-written [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018]. Rcoa.ac.uk. (2018). Final FRCA SOE | The Royal College of Anaesthetists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/examinations/final-frca-soe [Accessed 3 Sep. 2018].

MRCPsych

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 20, 2018

MRCPsych (Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) is a postnominal qualification awarded to doctors who have completed the prescribed training requirements and membership examinations mandated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. To sit MRCPsych you must be registered with the GMC or if you are an international doctor wanting to sit MRCPsych you must be registered with a recognised medical board from your home country and you should have undergone three years of training. There are three parts to MRCPsych: Paper A Focuses on Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Psychology and Theory – 3-hour exam Paper B Will test your knowledge on current Clinical Practice and Evidence within General Adult and the various subspecialties of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, Statistics, Critical Appraisal and Psychotherapy CASC Consists of two circuits. The first will comprise of 8 single stations with 4-minutes to read and 7 minutes to complete the task. 6 of these stations will be patient management focus and the other 2 will be history taking. The other 8 single stations remain in the same format 90 seconds to read and 7 minutes to complete the task. Eligibility: Paper A – You are eligible to take Paper A if you are fully registered medical practitioner Paper B – You are eligible to take Paper B if: You are on an approved training programme. The Royal College recommend that you have 12 months’ experience in psychiatry before attempting Paper B OR You are in a post recognised by your hospital as having contracted time and funding for educational training. Your job plan must include dedicated time for academic and educational activities, such as study leave. CASC – You are eligible to take CASC if: You have 24 months’ experience in Psychiatry post foundation/internship experience AND A pass in Papers A and B, OR you comply with transitional arrangements AND You have sponsorship in place, and can demonstrate the following: If your post is within a programme of approved training, you have successfully completed the Annual Review of Competence Progression by the time you apply for CASC For all other posts, you must have successfully completed an Assessment Portfolio, showing achievement of equivalent competencies to those defined in the ARCP, to include competencies in Psychotherapy AND Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, or Learning Disability. Fees Location Paper A Paper A (i) Paper A (ii) Paper B CASC PMPT Trainees and Affiliates (UK & Ireland Centres) £458 £285 £285 £412 £946 Non-PMPT Trainees and Affiliates (UK & Ireland Centres £508 £318 £318 £457 £1,051 Hong Kong, China £636 £337 £337 £636 £1,406 Singapore £636 £337 £337 £636 £1,406 Chennai, India £636 £337 £337 £636 N/A Muscat, Oman £636 £337 £337 £636 N/A Malta £572 N/A N/A £572 N/A PMPT - Pre-Membership Psychiatric Trainees Paper A The MRCPsych Paper A is a written examination on the scientific and theoretical basis of Psychiatry. Duration: Three-hours Value: 200 marks Comprises of approximately: 2/3 multiple-choice questions and 1/3 extended-matching item questions Paper A comprises of the following syllabus: Behavioural Science and Sociocultural Psychiatry Human Development Neuroscience Clinical Psychopharmacology Classification and Assessment in Psychiatry If I sat MRCPsych Paper 1 or 2 do I have to sit Paper A and B too? Candidates who hold a Paper 1 or Paper 2 pass are only required to sit Paper A(i) or Paper A(ii). These papers are 90-minute exams worth 100 marks Paper A (i) comprises of sections 1, 2 and 5 of the syllabus Paper A (ii) comprises sections 3 and 4 Paper B MRCPsych Paper B is a written paper which assesses critical review and the clinical topics in psychiatry. Duration: Three-hour exam Value: 200 marks Comprises of approximately: 2/3 covers clinical topics, of which 30% will be General Adult Psychiatry Paper B will follow the following sections of the syllabus: Organisation and Delivery of Psychiatric Services General Adult Psychiatry Old Age Psychiatry Psychotherapy Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Substance Misuse/Addictions Forensic Psychiatry Psychiatry of Learning Disability Critical Review Do I need to take Paper B? Candidates holding a valid pass in Paper 3 do not need to sit Paper B The CASC (Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies) This part of your exam tests your clinical skills in a range of clinical situations. We advise for you to pass a GMC approved English Language Exam prior to sitting your CASC Exam as this will give you an advantage when communicating in English – IELTS or OET. What is the format for the CASC? The CASC exam is similar to an OSCE (Objective Structed Clinical Examination). The exam comprises of two circuits of single stations which will test your clinical skills: The Morning Circuit will have 4 minutes to read the instructions and 7 minutes to complete the task The Afternoon circuit will have 90 seconds to read the instructions and 7 to complete the task There will be sixteen stations in total. 5 Stations – focused on History taking, including risk assessment 5 Stations – focused on Examination, both physical and mental state, including capacity assessment 6 Stations – focused on patient management Circuit 1 (Morning) 6 x Stations focused on Management 1 x Station focused on Examination 1 x Station focused on History Taking 4 minutes reading 7 minutes task Circuit 2 (Afternoon)   4 x Stations focused on Examination 4 x Stations focused on History Taking 90 seconds reading time 7 minute task Please note the UK CASC Exam is held in Sheffield. If you are interested accessing CASC support group which share links to webinars, offer weekly study sessions on Skpe, provide example questions and doctors who have sat the exam will share their experience – email us requesting the details at [email protected] General Advice It is fundamental that a lot of preparation goes into these exams. From hearing various doctors experience, it is advised for you to start your revision at least 4 months ahead of each exam. When you are considering your approach to your revision, look at the Royal College’s syllabus and organise it based on each module. We suggest for you to focus extra time on the areas that you find most difficult, but it is important to remember to revise all areas of the syllabus. Try and vary your revision, use textbooks, online courses, complete past papers, practice with friends or colleagues. The more you vary your revision the easier you will find it to absorb information. Our top tip – try and keep a balanced life whilst you are revising for your exams. Eat healthily, exercise, socialise with friends and family and give yourself some time off to relax. Free Online Resources Tricky Cyclists MRCPsych Paid Online Course SPMM Course Free Online Course Birmingham Course Please note there are hundreds of other forums and Facebook Groups which allow you to ask questions and receive exam support. If you are an international doctor who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] - and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch with you. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor - here you will get access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions about relocating and to meet other IMGs! ----------------------------------------- Rcpsych.ac.uk. (2018). Preparing for Paper A. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/traininpsychiatry/examinations/preparingfortheexams/preparingforpapera.aspx [Accessed 17 Aug. 2018]. Rcpsych.ac.uk. (2018). Preparing for Paper B. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/traininpsychiatry/examinations/preparingfortheexams/preparingforpaperb.aspx [Accessed 17 Aug. 2018]. Rcpsych.ac.uk. (2018). Preparing for CASC. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/traininpsychiatry/examinations/preparingfortheexams/preparingforcasc.aspx [Accessed 17 Aug. 2018].

Overview of Postgraduate Qualifications

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 13, 2018

Overview of Postgraduate Qualifications  As part of the GMC registration process the Council requires all Doctors to have sufficient knowledge and skills to receive a licence to practise in the UK. There are various routes to evidence this. The first route and the route taken by most junior Doctors, who are yet to specialise in a field, is the PLAB exam. Alternatively, the second route is to hold a GMC approved postgraduate qualification. This route is typically aimed at senior Doctors who have been practicing within a specialism for numerous years. The GMC website provides a comprehensive list of all approved international and national postgraduate qualifications which will be sufficient to support the knowledge and skills criteria. The GMC only offers an approved list of postgraduate qualifications and does not accept all qualifications from across the globe because they must ensure that the training is closely aligned with UK medical training. Another requirement set by the Council is that your approved postgraduate qualification must have been attained within the last three years or you may need to provide additional evidence of your recent  practise via a GEN2 form which can be found here. Although the PLAB exam is aimed towards junior Doctors yet to specialise – if you are a senior Doctor, waiting to take your Royal College exam (e.g. FRCR) due to over-subscription and you are looking to move to the UK quickly then it may be appropriate for you to use the PLAB route. To use FRCR as an example, the Royal College of Radiologists currently advises that waiting times for the FRCR Part 2b exam via the international ballot can be up to 24 months. It is useful to note that entry to the GMC registration via PLAB for senior Doctors, who have years of specialising, does not mean you cannot practice your specialism in the UK or that you would have to start your training again as a junior Doctor. Below is a duplicate of the GMC approved overseas postgraduate qualification table. If your postgraduate qualification is not stated on the list below then unfortunately it will not satisfy the knowledge and skills criteria and therefore your only other alternative is to take the PLAB exam (if you are not joining via an MTI post or direct sponsorship from an approved hospital). Country Awarding Body Postgraduate Qualification America American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics – General Pediatrics American Board of Anaesthesiology Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology The American Board of Radiology The American Board of Radiology diagnostic radiology examination Australia / New Zealand Royal Australasian College of Physicians FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations   OR   FRACP Paediatrics or evidence of 3 years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations.   Australia / New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology) Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians Fellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999 Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – diagnostic radiology examination Europe European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Hong Kong Hong Kong College of Physicians Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MRCS (collegiate) examination MRCSI (intercollegiate) examination Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland   College of Anaesthetists of Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists [of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland   Royal College of Physicians in Ireland MRCP Medicine (Medicine of Childhood) Malaysia Ministry of Health Master of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP(UK) awarded since 1/7/2010 This must include 4 years clinical experience (required to complete MMED) plus 2 years of training Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998 Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Paediatrics) National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK) Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1st July 2010 South Africa College of Anaesthetists of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa – FCA (SA)   Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) – Diag Rad awarded after 1st October 2013 Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Anaesthesiology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Paediatrics) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (medicine) awarded after January 2017 West Africa West African College of Physicians Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics) West Indies University of West Indies Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003 (Course title changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive Care)). Table Sourced from: General Medical Council (2018). Acceptable Postgraduate Qualifications. Available at: https://goo.gl/LJ4fQs [Accessed 13th March 2018]. Similar to overseas postgraduate qualifications, the GMC also provide an approved list of national postgraduate qualifications which will satisfy the knowledge and skills criteria in order to complete your GMC registration. These qualifications are listed below: Awarding Body Qualification Royal College of Emergency Medicine Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine (MCEM/MRCEM) Royal College of Anaesthetists Primary FRCA Examination Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Royal College of Pathologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) by examination only Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (FRCS Glasgow Ophthalmology) Royal College of Physicians of London Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Membership of the Royal College of Physicians MRCP (UK) Royal College of Psychiatrists Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) Royal College of Psychiatrists Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych) Royal College of Radiologists Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS Ed Ophthalmology) Royal College of Surgeons of England or Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Any of the following: ·         Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) ·         Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons - MRCS (ENT) ·         Collegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) ·   Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (following examination) (FRCS) Table Sourced from: General Medical Council (2018). Acceptable Postgraduate Qualifications. Available at: https://goo.gl/LJ4fQs [Accessed 13th March 2018]. If you would like further details on GMC registration and what relocation routes are available for IMG's then take a look at our GMC registration article found here. And if you think the move is for you then head over to our jobs board to see what opportunities are available and then email your CV to [email protected]

Postgraduate Qualification - Do I need one?

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 11, 2018

Obtaining a Master’s in medicine or healthcare has many advantages for both your medical career and your personal and personal achievements. There is a wide range of specialisms within medical which can be surgical, clinical or related to a specific area of illness or disease. If there is a specific topic you are interested in, you should check to see if there is a master’s programme in this particular field. Please note - A master's degree is NOT an alternative to your training in a specific field. The degree will show your enthusiasm about that field and will help your CV in interviews for your desired speciality training. Furthermore, the GMC recognise a variety of international postgraduate qualifications to be similar to that of the UK - meaning a UK qualificaition is not essential for speciality registration.  In this article, we provide outline the different types of postgraduate study available, entry requirements, a list of Royal College’s that offer postgraduate qualifications, the best time to do your postgraduate study. Types of Postgraduate Study There is a variety of postgraduate qualifications you can study in medicine, including Masters of Science/Clinical Masters (MSc), Research Masters (MRes), Masters of Education (Med), Masters of Public Health (MPH) and Ph.Ds. Please note to embark on a Ph.D. study, you will first require a master’s qualification. Entry Requirements Acceptable medical undergraduate degree – minimum of a 2:1 English language proficiency – IELTS or OET (Please go to your preferred university website for further details on their required scores) Completion of training References For some postgraduate courses you may be invited to attend an interview either at the university or if you are abroad, it may be possible to be done via Skype or telephone. It is important that you fully prepare for your interview, so you impress the person your interviewer. This includes, re-reading your application, knowing your employment and educational history in detail, research into the postgraduate course and have some questions ready to ask the interviewer to show your interest! A list of Royal Colleges and Faculties Academy of Medical Royal Colleges College of Emergency Medicine Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine Faculty of Public Health Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA) Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOPHTH) Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Heath (RCPCH)  

Overview of MRCP(UK)

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 06, 2018

Overview of MRCP(UK) The Royal College of Physicians provides specialty examinations that are globally recognised as excellent quality benchmarks of medical knowledge and clinical skills. The federation is a partnership of: The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow The Royal College of Physicians of London To obtain Membership of the Royal College of Physicians you will have to sit three exams: MRCP(UK) Part 1 - £594: Please note that the application process/fee for the Hong Kong and Singapore centresare different. MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written - £594: Please note thatapplication process/fee for the Hong Kong and Singapore centres are different. MRCP (UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES) -£1202 MRCP(UK) Eligibility Candidates may apply to sit the MRCP(UK) Part 1 examination provided they graduated at least 12 months in advance of the examination date. All doctors must have had at least 12 months' experience in medical employment, i.e. have completed Foundation Year 1 or equivalent. MRCP(UK) Part 1 At a glance: One-day examination Two three-hour papers 200 multiple-choice (best of five) questions No images Sat in an examination hall Exam Format Part 1 is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the clinical sciences relevant to medical practice and of common or important disorders to a level appropriate for entry to specialist training. The exam has two test papers and each paper is 3 hours long and contains 100 multiple-choice questions in the ‘best of five’ format. You must choose the best answer from the five possible answers. Each correct answer is awarded one mark and there is no negative marking. You will be tested on a wide range of common and important disorders in General Medicine which are set out in the Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training. Specialty Number of Questions Cardiology 15 Clinical Haematology and Oncology 15 Clinical Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology 16 Clinical Sciences 25 Dermatology 8 Endocrinology 15 Geriatric Medicine 4 Gastroenterology 15 Infectious diseases and GYM 15 Neurology 15 Nephrology 15 Ophthalmology 4 Psychiatry 8 Respiratory Medicine 15 Rheumatology 15 Please note that the above table is merely an indication, the questions may alter slightly in each examination sitting. What does the clinical sciences module comprise of? 1. Cell, molecular and membrane biology 2. Clinical anatomy 3. Clinical biochemistry and metabolism 4. Clinical physiology 5. Genetics 6. Immunology 7. Statistics, epidemiology and evidence-based medicine Please visit the Royal College’s site to note the available test centres and dates and to access sample questions please click here. MRCP Part 2 At a glance: Two papers to be taken in one day Each paper is three hours long 200 multiple-choice questions (best of five) Questions include images Sat in an examination hall Part 2 of the MRCP(UK) diploma can only be taken once you have passed the MRCP Part 1 examination. Part 2 builds on your knowledge that was assessed in Part 1 and will test your acquisition of medical knowledge, skills and behaviour specific in the Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training. From the beginning of 2018, the Part 2 exam moved to a single day format. The exam now consists of two, three-hour papers each with 100 questions each. Part 2 will test the ability to apply clinical understanding, make clinical judgements and will test your ability to: Prioritise diagnostic or problem lists Plan investigations Select a plan for immediate management Select a plan for long-term management Assess prognosis Exam Format The questions in this exam will typically have a clinical scenario, it may include the results of investigations and may be illustrated with images such as clinical photographs, pathology slides, inheritance trees, ECGs, X-rays, CT and MR scans and echocardiograms. The questions will ask you about the diagnosis, investigation, management and prognosis of patients using multiple-choice questions in ‘best of five’ format. This format, in addition to testing core knowledge and comprehension, will also assess your ability to interpret information and to solve clinical problems. You must choose the best answer from the five possible answers. Each correct answer is awarded one mark and there is no negative marking. Specialty Number of Questions Cardiology 19 Dermatology 9 Endocrinology and metabolic medicine 19 Clinical Sciences 25 Dermatology 8 Gastroenterology 19 Geriatric Medicine 9 Haematology 9 Infection Diseases and GUM 19 Neurology 17 Nephrology 19 Oncology and palliative medicine 9 Ophthalmology 3 Psychiatry 3 Respiratory Medicine 19 Rheumatology 9 Therapeutics and Toxicology 18 Please note that the above table is merely an indication, the questions may alter slightly in each examination sitting. To access sample exam questions please click here. MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES) At a glance: Half-day examination Takes place in a clinical setting (hospital or clinical skills centre) Assesses seven core skills Five stations Eight patient encounters Two independent examiners at each station The MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills – PACES) sets rigorous standards to ensure that candidates are competent across a range of skills and ready to provide a high standard of care to patients. To take PACES you must have passed MRCP Part 1 within the last 7 years. What are the seven core skills? Physical Examination – Demonstrate correct, thorough, systematic, appropriate and professional technique of physical examination Identifying Physical Signs – Identify physical signs correctly and not find signs that are not present Clinical Communication – Elicit a clinical history relevant to the patient’s complaints, in a systematic, thorough and professional manner. Differential Diagnosis – Create a sensible differential diagnosis for a patient that the candidate has personal clinically assessed. Clinical Judgement – Select an appropriate management plan for a patient or clinical situation. Select appropriate investigations or treatments for a patient that the candidate has personally clinically assessed. Managing Patients’ Concerns – Seek, detect and acknowledge and address patients’ or relatives’ concerns, confirm their understanding and demonstrate empathy. Maintaining Patient Welfare – Treat a patient or relative respectfully and sensitively and in a manner that ensures their comfort, safety and dignity. Stations At each station, you will encounter a patient or surrogate patient. Stations 1, 3 and 5 will have two encounters and stations 2 and 4 involve one. There is a total of eight encounters throughout the exam. Station Encounter Duration of examiner-to-candidate contact 1 1.Respiratory system examination 2.Abdominal system examination 10 minutes 10 minutes 2 History-taking skills 20 minutes 3 1. Cardiovascular system examination 2. Nervous system examination 10 minutes 10 minutes 4 Communication, skills and ethics 20 minutes 5 1.Integrated clinical assessment a) Brief clinical consultant 1 b) Brief clinical            consultation 2     10 minutes 10 minutes Total Time   125 minutes (including five minutes between each station) PACES Exam Structure: 10 minutes are spent with each patient For each case, a maximum of 6 minutes is allowed for the physical examination, followed by a minimum of 4 minutes for questioning from the examiners There are written instructions for each case Each examiner has a structured mark sheet for the case Every candidate on the carousel will be examined by the same two examiners at each station Please visit The Royal College website to gain access to sample clinical scenarios. When should I take each MRCP(UK) exam component? The Royal Colleges of Physicians has analysed previous candidate result statistics to reveal the points in time when pass rates tend to be the highest. MRCP(UK) Part 1 First attempt with 12-24 months after graduation – 70% pass rate 36 months after graduation – 50% pass rate 36-48 months after graduation – 40% The guidance states “you should not apply before you feel you know enough to pass, the data implies that trainees who are well prepared can expect to pass at the first attempt and should not delay this beyond 24-months without good reason.” MRCP(UK) Part 2 The data reveals that your best chance of passing Part 2 is to attempt it within 36 momths after graduating. Candidates who take the exam at an earlier stage are slightly less likely to be successful, although the pass rate is still above 85% MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES) The data reveals that you should delay attempting PACES at least 36 months after you have graduated Those who take the exam between 12-24 months after graduation are “very unlikely to pass” as they have had no time to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in a clinical setting. 24-36 months after graduation – 50% pass rate 36-48 months after graduation – 77% pass rate The data also reveals that candidates have the best chance of passing PACES if they have already successfully completed the part two written examination. Tips for helping you pass MRCP(UK) Register early – There is a high demand for sitting the MRCP(UK) exams, especially PACES as spaces are limited. If you register early you can plan your revision to fit the exam schedule and reduce the risk of missing out on your perfect time slot. Start revising early – We advise you to start revising at least six months in advance of each exam to prepare adequately. Although some doctors pass with less preparation time, do not risk it. If you start your exam revision as early as possible you will increase your chance of passing. Use a varied range of revision resources – do not just stick to one big textbook for your revision. The additional use of online courses, discussion forums and online tests will increase your knowledge and confidence when it comes to the exam itself. Try to cover all topics evenly – Excellent knowledge of smaller topics such as statistics, ophthalmology and psychiatry will allow you to collect extra marks for only a short period of study. Check the Royal College’s exam regulations - https://www.mrcpuk.org/mrcpuk-examinations/regulations If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you. And head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK. References Medacs.com. (2018). Tips for choosing when to take MRCP(UK) exams | Medacs Healthcare. [online] Available at: https://www.medacs.com/healthcare-news/tips-for-choosing-when-to-take-mrcp-uk-exams#.WxaUb0gvyUk [Accessed 5 Jun. 2018]. Mrcouk.org. (2018) Part 1 | MRCPUK. [online] Available at: https://www.mrcpuk.org/mrcpuk-examinations/part-1 Mrcouk.org. (2018) Part 1 | MRCPUK. [online] Available at: https://www.mrcpuk.org/mrcpuk-examinations/part-2 Mrcouk.org. (2018) PACES | MRCPUK. [online] Available at: https://www.mrcpuk.org/mrcpuk-examinations/paces

Overview of FRCR

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 21, 2018

Overview of FRCR The Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) is postgraduate exam qualification awarded by The Royal College of Radiologists, a professional body responsible for the speciality of clinical oncology and clinical radiology throughout the UK. The FRCR Exam is the main way in which UK radiology trainees demonstrate objectively that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to work as an independent radiologist in the UK. The postgraduate qualification is also GMC approved – thus evidencing that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to apply for full registration with a licence to practise. What components are there to the FRCR First FRCR Examination Anatomy and Physics Final FRCR Examination Part A Part B -Rapid Reporting -Reporting Session -Oral Exam Please note that each exam must be passed sequentially in order to progress to the next stage. First FRCR Examination Structure The First FRCR examination comprises of two modules: Anatomy and Physics. Anatomy is examined by an image viewing session delivered on individual workstations and Physics by a multiple-choice written question (MCQ) paper. Both modules will be held during a two-day examination period three times each year (September, March, June); and both modules will be held on separate days. For further details on dates click here. The cost of this exam is £253 for a member and £298 for a non-member – this price is for each module. So will be double the price if you book both Anatomy and Physics. What will I be tested on? The First FRCR Examination will assess your knowledge of those physical, cellular and molecular principles that underpin the generation of radiological studies. The purpose of this examination is to assess whether those undertaking speciality training in clinical radiology have an appropriate knowledge of the scientific principles that underpin all radiological imaging, including radiology, fluoroscopy, angiography, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound imaging, radionuclide imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The syllabus for this examination is described in the curriculum. The exam ensures that successful candidates understand the underlying principles that underpin the generation of images, such that they can: Select the most appropriate imaging technique for a clinical scenario from the intrinsic properties of the method of image generation. Understand the risk, safety and quality consideration that are inherent in image generation to allow an informed choice of the appropriate modality and any alteration in technique. Anatomy The anatomy module covers radiological anatomy across all body systems and imaging modalities. The exam will consist of a computer-based image viewing session of one-hundred images. Most of the questions will be “What structure does the arrow point to?” or “What normal anatomical variant is demonstrated?” The exam will last for ninety minutes and each examination paper aims to cover the curriculum and individual modalities give roughly equal weight as follows: 1/3 cross-sectional 1/3 plain radiographs 1/3 contrast studies Similarly, different body parts are given roughly equal weight as follows: ¼ head, neck and spine ¼ chest and cardiovascular ¼ abdomen and pelvis ¼ musculoskeletal There will also be Paediatric images and normal variants, but foetal imaging and neonatal cranial ultrasound will not be in the exam. The anatomy exam takes place at the Royal College of Radiology in London. Overseas candidates can elect to sit the exam in Hong Kong or Singapore. Depending on the number of applications that the College receives, candidates are assigned to an examination session over a period of one to three days immediately following the physics exam. Physics The physics exam can be taken at a number of centres: typically, Birmingham, London, Manchester, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore. When making your exam application you will be asked to provide your first and second choice test centre. This exam will last for two-hours and is a multiple choice written question paper. You will have 120 minutes to answer 40 questions. Each question will present you with a topic, for example, Doppler ultrasound, and then follow with five statements that must be marked either true or false. The pass mark will vary for each exam sitting, however, typically it is usually somewhere in the region of 70-75%. This module covers UK ionising radiation legislation, patient safety and the physical principles that underpin diagnostic medical imaging. It has been reported that the physics paper can be very tricky if you did not learn physics at school or university. However, we advise you to keep reading and learning until you have a good understanding of the key concepts it will become easier from there. Remember to use varied revision resources from books, e-learning sessions to revising the topics with colleagues. Final FRCR Examination Part A The Final FRCR Part A exam is a single-best answer paper and you will be tested on all aspects of clinical radiology and the basic sciences of physics, anatomy and techniques, against the Speciality Training Curriculum for Clinical Radiology. The examination will be held in June and December each year and examination dates can be found here and the exam fee is £340 for a member and £400 for a non-member. Entry Requirements Candidates must have passed the First FRCR examination, comprising of the Anatomy and Physics modules. Furthermore, to take FRCR Final Part A you must have acquired 24 months in a formal clinical radiology training post by the month which you take your exam. Exam Format This exam consists of two papers which will be sat on the same day with a break in between. Each paper will contain 120 single-best-answer questions (240 questions in total) and each paper lasts three-hours. Please note that both papers make up one exam and there is no concept of passing one paper. You will be examined on all aspects of clinical radiology and this exam must be passed before you can attempt the FRCR Final Part B Exam. The Exam will cover the following topics: Cardiothoracic and Vascular Musculoskeletal and Trauma Gastro-intestinal Genito-urinary, Adrenal, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Breast Paediatric Central Nervous and Head & Neck Both papers will be entirely mixed and contain questions from all subspecialties. Helpfully, the results of the exam are broken into subspecialty so on receipt of your feedback you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. The pass rate for the exam will be based on the overall percentage. Part B The Final FRCR Part B assessment will examine you on all aspects of clinical radiology against the Speciality Training Curriculum for Clinical Radiology. The Part B Exam will consist of a rapid reporting session (also known as rapids), reporting session (also known as long cases), and an oral examination (viva). All components are examined via an image viewing session and held during a single examination period twice a year. Click here to access how each component is marked and how the overall results are determined. The examination is held in April and October of each year and the exam fee is £474 for a member and £558 for a non-member. Please click here for further details on dates. Entry Requirements Candidates who have passed the Final FRCR Part A examination, are permitted to enter the Part B examination once 34 months of clinical radiology training have been completed. Rapid Reporting (Rapids) In this part of your exam, you will receive thirty plain radiographs and you will have to classify each graph in thirty-five minutes. This element of the exam will truly test you because you are not given much time to answer the questions. Passing this element will require you to practise a vast amount and develop a systematic approach to radiograph interpretation. The idea is that the exam will reflect a normal day-to-day A&E or GP reporting session. The cases will be a mixture of facial, abdominal, chest, spine and limb radiographs. It has been reported that typically half of the cases are normal and half the cases are abnormal, however, this ratio will vary. There is one mark per image, and so a maximum of thirty marks is available. Reporting Session (Long Cases) In this part of the exam, you will be presented with six cases and have sixty-minutes to answer them. Each case may comprise of one or more imaging modalities, such as an ultrasound image, a CT scan and a plain radiograph. You will be given a brief history and relevant clinical data to help and guide you (as you would in day-to-day practise) and you must report on all six cases. To answer you will need to type your report in the spaces provided on the screen and they are divided into the following sections to aid you to communicate your report clearly. Observations:  Record observations from all the imaging studies available, including relevant positive and negative findings. Interpretation:  State interpretations of the observed findings; e.g. whether the mass or process is benign, malignant or infective, giving your reasons. Principal diagnosis:  The single diagnosis based on the interpretations above.  If a single diagnosis is not possible, give the most likely differential diagnosis here. Differential diagnosis:   For some questions, this will be left blank, however, if a single diagnosis is not possible then differentials other than the most likely differential diagnosis should be included here.  These should be few and brief and you must indicate why these are less likely than the main or principal diagnosis above. Further management:  Include any further investigations or future management here. Oral Examination (Viva) This element of the exam consists of two thirty-minute oral examinations, so the total exam time will be one hour. There will be two examiners who will each examine you. For the first fifteen minutes examiner A will ask you questions regarding radiographs, and then after those fifteen minutes are up examiner B will ask you questions while examiner A marks, and so on. You will, therefore, be assessed by four independent judgements on your performance. The total marks for the viva component are sixteen marks. The radiographs typically fall into four groups: Classic Often people do not have a problem diagnosis this radiograph e.g. peri-lunate dislocation. Tie it Together Multiple findings on one or more modality. You will need to put all the findings together to come up with a diagnosis. Observation The abnormality is subtle and may be difficult to spot. One example is an ‘edge of the radiograph’ finding such as a calcified hydatid cyst in the liver on a chest radiograph. Gross abnormality The abnormality is obvious but the location may be atypical. Tips and Tricks to Passing your FRCR Exams Practice papers – Doing practice papers prior to your real exam will be a great way to learn the exam topics whilst improving your exam technique. There are many good courses, books and online resources which offer free mock FRCR Exam papers. Be mindful with the spelling of similar sounding structures – The FRCR Exam is not a spelling test and the examiners often look over minor spelling mistakes, however, it is important to get right similar sounding names. One example includes ilium/ileum. Take care or you could miss out on a mark. Write an answer to every question – There is no negative marking so if you are not sure of an answer we advise you to make your best guess. When you are struggling with a question, write something and move on because if you have enough time at the end you can come back to it. Timing is fundamental – As with all the exams, but most specifically the FRCR Final Examinations Part B, it is essential you manage it. It is easy to write a correct and successful report after looking at the radiographs, however, it is very difficult to do so when you have to spend an average of ten minutes on each case. You will not have time to check your answers so we advise for you to be very strict with time management, and recommend that you spend no more than 7-8 minutes on each case to allow time for the more difficult cases that require a longer analysis. Avoid Acronyms and Abbreviations – Reports reveal that many clinical errors have arisen from the use of acronyms and just because an abbreviation is common in your current hospital does not mean it is used in other hospitals or other international healthcare systems. Referencing Rcr.ac.uk. (2018). First FRCR Examination | The Royal College of Radiologists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/examinations/first-frcr-examination-0 [Accessed 21 May 2018]. Rcr.ac.uk. (2018). Final FRCR Part B Examination | The Royal College of Radiologists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/examinations/final-frcr-part-b-examination-0 [Accessed 21 May 2018] Clare, C. (2018) Exams. [online] Radiology Café. Available at: https://www.radiologycafe.com/radiology-trainees/exams [Accessed 21 May 2018]. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you! Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.

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