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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 apply@bdiresourcing.com 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 apply@bdiresourcing.com. 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 apply@bdiresourcing.com - 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 apply@bdiresourcing.com.

Overview of MRCS

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 09, 2018

The Intercollegiate Membership examination of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) will test your knowledge, experience and clinical competence expected of trainees at the end of their core surgical training. The exam will grant you membership to one of the four Royal Colleges in the UK and Ireland and entry to higher specialist training. Please note that to be eligible to sit the MRCS exam, you must hold a medical degree that is acceptable to the GMC for full or provisional registration. First-time applicants whose names do not appear on the GMC register must submit their original certificate of a medical degree acceptable to the Royal College. The Intercollegiate MRCS Exam has two parts: Part A: Written Paper - £526 Part A: Applied Basic Science Exam: Three-hours with 180 questions Part B: Principles of General Surgery Exam: Two-hours with 120 questions Part B: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £953 Please note that although MRCS is divided into two parts, the written part, and the clinical examination, MRCS is a single examination and so passing Part A alone will not carry any diploma status. MRCS Part A: Written Paper Part A of the MRCS has two separate papers that will be taken on the same day with a break in between. The first paper is the Applied Basic Science and the second paper is the Principles of General Surgery. The standard price is £526, however, in some non-UK centres a local administration fee is also included. The exam uses both single-best answer multiple-choice questions and extended matching multiple-choice questions. Please note that to achieve a pass in the MRCS Part A you will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence in each of the two papers, in addition to achieving or exceeding the pass mark set for the combined total mark for Part A. The mark for Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be combined to give a total mark for Part A. Part A: Applied Basic Science This paper will last for three-hours and will ask you 180 single-best answer questions.                         What is a single-best answer question? A single-best answer question will test your order of thinking, such as application and evaluation of knowledge, rather than a true or false style question that was previously used. A standard single-best answer question will typically have three parts: A statement or a clinical scenario The question Five answer options, which will include one single correct answer What is an extended-matching question? An extended-matching question will provide you with a clinical situation and then provide you with a variable number of options, but only one option will be the most appropriate response to each clinical situation. You will have to choose the most appropriate option. Please note that from September 2018, the Part A examination will consist of single-best answer questions only. What will the exam test me on? Basic science knowledge relevant to surgical practice Common surgical conditions Basic surgical skills The assessment and management of the surgical patient Perioperative care of the surgical patient Assessment and early treatment of the patient with trauma Surgical care of the paediatric patient Management of the dying patient Organ and tissue transplantation Professional behaviour and leadership skills Part B: Principles of General Surgery MRCS Paper B will last for two hours and will consist of 120 questions and, until September 2018, will continue to be a combination of the single-best answer and extended-matching questions. The two different types of questions will be in different sections of the paper. What will the exam test me on? Basic science knowledge relevant to surgical practice Common surgical conditions Basic surgical skills The assessment and management of the surgical patient Perioperative care of the surgical patient Assessment and early treatment of the patient with trauma Surgical care of the paediatric patient Management of the dying patient Organ and tissue transplantation Professional behaviour and leadership skills MRCS Part B: OCSE The MRCS Part B Exam will take the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The OSCE is a direct observation of clinical skills and for the assessment of knowledge which is not readily assessed in written exams. The standard price for the MRCS OSCE exam is £953. Whilst Part A is totally theoretical, and Part B tests your clinical skills and medical knowledge, the Part B Exam will also test your personality and how well you can work under pressure. Someone with very good medical knowledge can often have trouble passing Part B because of their communication or stress-management skills – we, therefore, advise you to practice Part B with a friend or family member prior to the exam. Please note that after passing MRCS Part A, you are required to pass Part B of the examination within seven years. Otherwise successful MRCS Part A result will be considered as expired.             How does the OSCE work? The OSCE Exam will comprise of several different stations in a circuit, of which candidates will rotate around. At each station, you will find different scenarios which will consist of an actor or manikin playing the patient and you will be observed by an examiner. Each station will require you to undertake a clearly defined task, this may include taking a focused history, clinical examination, interpreting an X-ray or performing a practical procedure. Please note that the Royal College advises that at all stations candidates will be expected to introduce themselves, outline the purpose of the task, confirm the patient’s identity and check that they consent to the required task. As a normal procedure, you should always clean your hands before and after patient contact.             What is in my OSCE Exam? The Exam will comprise of 18 examined stations and after the 9th station, you will be given a break before continuing the rest. At the beginning of each station you will be given one minute to read the instructions and then you will have nine minutes to complete the station. All stations will have an examiner, with most having one but some stations may have two examiners. Each station is marked out of 20 marks and will carry equal marks. The MRCS Part B tests: Anatomy and Surgical Pathology Applied Surgical Science and Critical Care Clinical and Procedural Skills Communication Skills The individual stations are grouped into two broad content areas which are Knowledge and Skills. Knowledge (8 stations)             1. 3 surgical anatomy stations             2. 2 surgical pathology stations             3. 3 applied surgical science and critical care stations                         a) 1 generic critical care                         b) 1 generic interpretation of written data                         c) 1 generic interpretation of visual information Skills (10 stations)             1. 4 communication skills stations                         a) 2 generic history taking                         b) 1 generic giving information to a patient/relative                         c) 1 generic giving information to another health professional             2. 6 clinical and procedural skills stations                         a) 4 physical examination                         b) 2 generic skills BDI Resourcing’s Tips to taking your Intercollegiate MRCS Enough Preparation Time Deciding when to book your exam is one of the most important factors in your success. We advise that if you have a flexible work schedule which would allow you to study for at least four hours a day – then you should book your exams at least six months in advance. However, if you have a very busy work schedule and only have two to three hours free a day for study time you should book your exam a year in advance. In addition, until you book your exam date you may be in denial about starting your exam preparation so we advise for you to book your exam date at your earliest convenience. Choose your Study Resources There is often the temptation to try and methodically work your way through the syllabus before starting practise questions. However, it is important to remember that the MRCS syllabus is vast and you probably know more than you think. Therefore, we advise for you to start your revision off by doing a practice paper and use the results to identify which areas are your weaknesses and which are your strengths. You will then be able to strengthen your weaker areas and mix your revision up by practising multiple-choice questions and extended-matching questions. Furthermore, do not just practice past papers - using a mix of online revision resources, textbooks and perhaps a revision course will help you keep your learning varied and thus you will be more likely to obtain the information you are learning. A lot of IMG’s find the revision website and smartphone app ‘Geeky Medics’ useful as it provides free medical student revision resources, including OSCE guides, clinical skills videos, clinical cases and MCQ / SBA quizzes – all accessible in an examination scenario. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – 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. Sources “Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations” (2017) Guide to the Intercollegiate MRCS Examination. Accessed on 8th May 2018 from https://goo.gl/VgMg3J

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 apply@bdiresourcing.com 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 apply@bdiresourcing.com – 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.

Overview of MRCS

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 08, 2018

Overview of Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (MRCS)  The Intercollegiate Membership examination of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) will test your knowledge, experience and clinical competence expected of trainees at the end of their core surgical training. The exam will grant you membership to one of the four Royal Colleges in the UK and Ireland and entry to higher specialist training. Please note that to be eligible to sit the MRCS exam, you must hold a medical degree that is acceptable to the GMC for full registration. First-time applicants whose names do not appear on the GMC register must submit their original certificate of a medical degree acceptable to the Royal College. The Intercollegiate MRCS Exam has two parts: Part A: Written Paper - £526 Part A: Applied Basic Science Exam: Three-hours with 180 questions Part B: Principles of General Surgery Exam: Two-hours with 120 questions Part B: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £953 Please note that although MRCS is divided into two parts, the written part, and the clinical examination, MRCS is a single examination and so passing Part A alone will not carry any diploma status. MRCS Part A: Written Paper Part A of the MRCS has two separate papers that will be taken on the same day with a break in between. The first paper is the Applied Basic Science and the second paper is the Principles of General Surgery. The standard price is £526, however, in some non-UK centres a local administration fee is also included. The exam uses both single-best answer multiple-choice questions and extended matching multiple-choice questions. Please note that to achieve a pass in the MRCS Part A you will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence in each of the two papers, in addition to achieving or exceeding the pass mark set for the combined total mark for Part A. The mark for Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be combined to give a total mark for Part A.       Part A: Applied Basic Science This paper will last for three-hours and will ask you 180 single-best answer questions. What is a single-best answer question? A single-best answer question will test your order of thinking, such as application and evaluation of knowledge, rather than a true or false style question that was previously used. A standard single-best answer question will typically have three parts: A statement or a clinical scenario The question Five answer options, which will include one single correct answer What is an extended-matching question? An extended-matching question will provide you with a clinical situation and then provide you with a variable number of options, but only one option will be the most appropriate response to each clinical situation. You will have to choose the most appropriate option. Please note that from September 2018, the Part A examination will consist of single-best answer questions only. What will the exam test me on? Basic science knowledge relevant to surgical practice Common surgical conditions Basic surgical skills The assessment and management of the surgical patient Perioperative care of the surgical patient Assessment and early treatment of the patient with trauma Surgical care of the paediatric patient Management of the dying patient Organ and tissue transplantation Professional behaviour and leadership skills   MRCS Part B: OCSE The MRCS Part B Exam will take the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The OSCE is a direct observation of clinical skills and for the assessment of knowledge which is not readily assessed in written exams. The standard price for the MRCS OSCE exam is £953. Whilst Part A is totally theoretical, and Part B tests your clinical skills and medical knowledge, the Part B Exam will also test your personality and how well you can work under pressure. Someone with very good medical knowledge can often have trouble passing Part B because of their communication or stress-management skills – we, therefore, advise you to practice Part B with a friend or family member prior to the exam. Please note that after passing MRCS Part A, you are required to pass Part B of the examination within seven years. Otherwise successful MRCS Part A result will be considered as expired.             How does the OSCE work? The OSCE Exam will comprise of several different stations in a circuit, of which candidates will rotate around. At each station, you will find different scenarios which will consist of an actor or manikin playing the patient and you will be observed by an examiner. Each station will require you to undertake a clearly defined task, this may include taking a focused history, clinical examination, interpreting an X-ray or performing a practical procedure. Please note that the Royal College advises that at all stations candidates will be expected to introduce themselves, outline the purpose of the task, confirm the patient’s identity and check that they consent to the required task. As a normal procedure, you should always clean your hands before and after patient contact. What is in my OSCE Exam? The Exam will comprise of 18 examined stations and after the 9th station, you will be given a break before continuing the rest. At the beginning of each station you will be given one minute to read the instructions and then you will have nine minutes to complete the station. All stations will have an examiner, with most having one but some stations may have two examiners. Each station is marked out of 20 marks and will carry equal marks. The MRCS Part B tests: Anatomy and Surgical Pathology Applied Surgical Science and Critical Care Clinical and Procedural Skills Communication Skills The individual stations are grouped into two broad content areas which are Knowledge and Skills. Knowledge (8 stations) 1. 3 Surgical anatomy stations 2. 2 Surgical pathology stations 3. 3 Applied surgical science and critical care stations a) 1 Generic critical care b) 1 Generic interpretation of written data c) 1 Generic interpretation of visual information Skills (10 stations) 1. 4 Communication skills stations a) 2 Generic history taking b) 1 Generic giving information to a patient/relative c) 1 Generic giving information to another health professional 2. 6 Clinical and procedural skills stations a) 4 Physical examination b) 2 Generic skills BDI Resourcing’s Tips to taking your Intercollegiate MRCS     Enough Preparation Time Deciding when to book your exam is one of the most important factors in your success. We advise that if you have a flexible work schedule which would allow you to study for at least four hours a day – then you should book your exams at least six months in advance. However, if you have a very busy work schedule and only have two to three hours free a day for study time you should book your exam a year in advance. In addition, until you book your exam date you may be in denial about starting your exam preparation so we advise for you to book your exam date at your earliest convenience. Choose your Study Resources There is often the temptation to try and methodically work your way through the syllabus before starting practise questions. However, it is important to remember that the MRCS syllabus is vast and you probably know more than you think. Therefore, we advise for you to start your revision off by doing a practice paper and use the results to identify which areas are your weaknesses and which are your strengths. You will then be able to strengthen your weaker areas and mix your revision up by practising multiple-choice questions and extended-matching questions. Furthermore, do not just practice past papers - using a mix of online revision resources, textbooks and perhaps a revision course will help you keep your learning varied and thus you will be more likely to obtain the information you are learning. A lot of IMG’s find the revision website and smartphone app ‘Geeky Medics’ useful as it provides free medical student revision resources, including OSCE guides, clinical skills videos, clinical cases and MCQ / SBA quizzes – all accessible in an examination scenario. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – 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.   Sources “Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations” (2017) Guide to the Intercollegiate MRCS Examination. Accessed on 8th May 2018 from https://goo.gl/VgMg3J      

Overview of MRCEM/FRCEM

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 03, 2018

Overview of MRCEM/FRCEM Currently, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine is implementing a few changes to their examination structure. The College is continuing to offer a range of examinations which will lead to the award of the Membership of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (MRCEM) or the Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM) of the College – but the two separate exams are being updated and merged to create a single suite of examinations. Now, the successful completion of all exam components will lead to the award of Fellowship of the College (FRCEM). However, candidates who do not want to complete the entire suite of exams will still be able to obtain Membership by Examination (MRCEM). Once you have achieved either FRCEM or MRCEM both qualifications will be considered an acceptable GMC postgraduate qualification, thus eligible for registration. From August 2018, the FRCEM examination will consist of the following exams: FRCEM Primary Examination - £310 FRCEM Intermediate Certificate Short Answer Question Paper - £305 b. Situational Judgement Paper - £200 FRCEM Final Examination: Critical Appraisal (Short Answer Question Paper) - £240 b. Quality Improvement Project (QIP) - £220 c. Clinical Short Answer Question Paper - £300 d. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £420 What about my MRCEM Exams? Please note that candidates who have passed the following: MRCEM Part A: Before August 2016 or the FRCEM Primary after August 2016 and MRCEM Part B: Before August 2016 or the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ after August 2016 and MRCEM Part C/OSCE will be eligible for Membership of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (MRCEM) by examination as before. Please note that candidates who have been awarded MRCEM prior to August 2018 are eligible to sit the FRCEM Final Exams and are not required to complete the FRCEM Intermediate SJP. However, candidates who have not been awarded MRCEM prior to August 2018 are still able to sit the required examinations to be awarded MRCEM but should be aware that they will be required to pass the FRCEM Intermediate SJP should they wish to sit the FRCEM Final Examinations at a future date. FRCEM Primary Examination The FRCEM Primary Exam is a direct replacement for the MRCEM Part A exam and will continue to assess the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum. The paper is three-hours long and contains 180 single-best answer questions. The exam is conducted in English and candidates are advised that IELTS Level 7 is the expected standard for completion of all FRCEM examinations. There have been some content changes from the old MRCEM Part A exam that you should note. First, there are no longer any clinical scenarios or biochemistry questions. Second, Haematology is still present but it has been merged with the Pathology section. Exam composition: Anatomy (60 questions) Physiology (60 questions) Pharmacology (27 questions) Microbiology (18 questions) Pathology (9 questions) Evidence-Based Medicine (6 questions) How do I prepare for FRCEM Primary Exam? We advise that you start preparing for your exam at least 6 months in advance and the Royal College recommended textbooks should help you cover each of the areas tested in the exam. The two topics which account for two-thirds of the marks are Anatomy and Physiology so it would be logical to focus most of your revision on those two areas. Nevertheless, do not neglect the other topics – it is important to cover all areas. What is a single-best answer question? In MRCEM Part A, the exam asked multiple-choice questions however, they have now changed the FRCEM Primary Exam to ask single-best answer questions. The examiner will now be testing your order of thinking, such as application and evaluation of knowledge, rather than a true or false style question that was previously used. A standard single-best answer question will typically have three parts: A statement or a clinical scenario The question The answer options, which will include one single correct answer FRCEM Intermediate Certificate The FRCEM Intermediate Certificate has replaced the MRCEM Parts B and C. The FRCEM Intermediate Certificate is awarded on completion of the following: Short Answer Question (SAQ) paper which compiles of 60 3-mark short answer questions in 3 hours Situational Judgement Paper (SJP) consisting of 120 single-best answer questions in 2 hours What is the FRCEM Intermediate Short Answer Question (SAQ) Paper? In August 2016 the MRCEM Part B was replaced by the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ Paper. The exam will last for 3 hours and you will be asked 60 3-mark questions and will cover the 2015 Emergency Medicine Curriculum. Please note that all MRCEM Part B passes received before August 2012 are deemed time expired. All candidates are allowed a maximum of six attempts for the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ Paper and previous attempts of the MRCEM Part B exam will not be counted towards your attempt at the new paper. Exam test areas: General Medicine Toxicology Trauma and Orthopaedics Paediatrics Surgery Anaesthesia Ophthalmology ENT Maxillofacial Surgery Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ethics and Law What are short-answer questions (SAQs)? A short-answer question will require you to formulate an answer based on the information given in the question without having the advantage of having an option to choose from. Typically, they will pose as a clinical scenario followed by a list of questions that requires specialist knowledge. How do I prepare for the Intermediate Short Answer Question (SAQ) Paper? The FRCEM Intermediate Exam does not require as much volume of knowledge as the FRCEM Primary Exam, but it is still a difficult and challenging examination. Most of the questions will take on the form of data interpretation, such as blood tests, an X-ray or an ECG. Similarly, to the Primary Exam, we advise that you start preparing at least 6 months in advance to your exam. In addition, it is important to practice answering questions under timed conditions to give you a realistic experience of what to expect in the exam. What is the FRCEM Intermediate Situational Judgment (SJP) Paper? In Autumn 2017, the FRCEM Intermediate Situation Judgement (SJP) Exam replaced the MRCEM Part C. The FRCEM SJP Exam will last for two hours and the paper will consist of 120 single-best answer questions. Please note that candidates will be permitted a maximum of six attempts for the SJP and previous attempts at the MRCEM Part C Exam will not be counted towards the number of attempts. The SJP will present you with hypothetical but realistic clinical scenarios and you will be asked to choose the most effective action from a series of potential answers. The questions will assess you against the Common Competencies Emergency Medicine Training Curriculum 2015 and will test you in the following areas: Patient Focus Problem Solving Decision Making Team Working Time Management Self-Awareness Professional Integrity Professional Development Please note that as the exam is relatively new and doctors have limited experience taking it – there is little information on what to expect from the exam – but we will keep you updated where we can. FRCEM Final Examination FRCEM Final Examination: Critical Appraisal (Short Answer Question Paper) – 90 minutes b. Quality Improvement Project (QIP) – 35 minutes c. Clinical Short Answer Question Paper – 3 hours of paper of 60, 3-mark questions d. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – 16, 8-minute stations Please note that as each component tests different skills and knowledge all candidates will be able to apply and sit each exam independently. Critical Appraisal (Short Answer Question Paper) Topic areas: Major and Acute Presentations Paediatric Practical Procedures Practical Procedures Ultrasound Core, Major and Acute Presentations Common Competencies Anaesthetics Competencies ICM within ACCS Acute Presentations FRCEM Final OSCE Curriculum Areas Assessed: Stations Topic 1 Core Acute 2a 2b Resuscitation 3 Core Major 4 Common Competences 5 Common Competences 6 Anaesthetic Competences 7a 7b Paediatric Resuscitation 8 Paediatric Acute 9 Paediatric Major 10 HST Major 11 HST and Adult Acute 12 Practical Skills 13 Paediatric Practical Skills 14 Non-Technical Skills What should I expect in my FRCEM Final OSCE Exam? Your OSCE Exam will be very similar to the PLAB 2 Exam. The purpose of the exam is to test your ability to apply your knowledge and experience to the care of patients, rather than examining your ability to remember facts. During the exam, you will find different scenarios at each station which will consist of an actor or manikin playing the patient and you will be observed by an examiner, either in person or via a remote camera. The exam will not be recorded and typically examiners do not intervene, except in limited circumstances. Remember not to talk to other candidates or write down any details about the exam while you are taking it. You cannot bring books, a mobile phone or a smartwatch into the exam. Can I sit the FRCEM overseas? The Royal College runs several examinations overseas (India, Singapore, Oman and Iceland). For further details on sitting your exam overseas visit the Royal College’s Page. BDI’s Advice to help you pass Preparation is key – It is important to give yourself over 6 months to revise for each exam and that you revise thoroughly and comprehensively as all the exams are very tough. Utilise the curriculum – The Royal College’s 2015 Curriculum will strongly aid you in your revision. Although the document is very large it is very representative of the exam content – an opinion of those who have taken all the exams. Use varied revision resources – Using a mix of online revision resources, textbooks and perhaps a revision course will help you keep your learning varied and thus you will be more likely to obtain the information you are learning. BDI Resourcing work closely with “FRCEM Exam Prep” who are the longest established and most experienced provider of online revision courses for the Royal Collee of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) examinations. Access to courses starts from £35. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – 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! References “The Royal College of Emergency Medicine”. (2018). FRCEM Primary Examination Regulations and Information Pack. Accessed on 1st May 2018 from https://goo.gl/8ChBFG “The Royal College of Emergency Medicine”. (2018). FRCEM Intermediate Certificate Examinations Regulations and Information Pack. Accessed on 1st May 2018 from https://goo.gl/mrd5dV “The Royal College of Emergency Medicine”. (2018.) FRCEM Final Examinations Regulations and Information Pack. Accessed on 1st May 2018 from https://goo.gl/AgS8Ei “Medical Exam Prep”. (2018). Tips for the FRCEM Primary. Accessed on 1st May 2018 from https://goo.gl/R6Y2pt Please note that this information is just a guide and for detailed information on the FRCEM exam please contact the Royal College directly.

Overview of MRCPCH

By Gabrielle Richardson
April 23, 2018

Overview of MRCPCH The Royal College of Paediatrics runs two exams. The first is The Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH). This qualification allows doctors to enter into specialist training, and it is also GMC recognised, which means IMG’s who hold this qualification will satisfy the knowledge and skills element of registration. The second exam offered by the Royal College is the Diploma of Child Health. The DCH is designed primarily for general practitioners but is also suitable for any doctor involved in looking after children – for example, child psychiatry, or ear, nose and throat surgery. DCH is not a requirement, but an additional qualification. Thus, in this article we are going to focus on MRCPCH, as this is the qualification needed for Paediatricians to qualify for GMC Registration, that or PLAB. What is in the MRCPCH? The MRCPCH has three theory exams: Foundation of Practice (FOP), Theory and Science (TAS), Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) and one clinical exam. Please visit the College website for regular updates and important changes to the exams. Register for your exam If you have not sat an exam with the Royal College of Paediatrics before or you do not have a Royal College number, you will need to register online to take the MRCPCH exam. Once your registration is accepted and you have received your number you can apply for the exam during the relevant application period. Click here to create your account. Structure of the Exam Foundation of Practice (FOP) The aim of FOP is to assess your knowledge, understanding, your clinical decision-making abilities, and to ensure that you have reached the standard of someone entering their core specialist training. This exam costs £310, lasts 2.5 hours and there are 70 questions in the format “best of five” and 10 questions on extended matching. What is best of five? These questions will test your experience and clinical judgement. A simple statement or clinical scenario leads into five options, all options could be possible but only one is completely correct, or more correct than others. Examples include ‘what is the most likely diagnosis?’ and ‘what is the best advice to give to the parents?’ What is extended matching? These questions are used in the same way as the best of five questions. But in this case, a list of 10 possible answers is offered with three statements or clinical scenarios. And you will be expected to choose the best option from the introductory list. All could be possible but only one answer is completely correct or more correct than the others. Often extended matching questions are often accompanied by laboratory results. FOP Exam Advice For this exam it is important that you have the right revision technique – reading a textbook from front to back will not help you pass the exam. The exam is based on pattern recognition as certain topics repeat themselves each exam sitting. Try and use a variety of revision resources from books, websites, and testing your knowledge with colleagues. Furthermore, you should have an in-depth understanding on trickier subjects. Fundamental topics to cover: -Illnesses that kill a child: meningococcal/meningitis/sepsis -Common Syndromes: Down’s Syndrome and Turner’s Syndrome -Development and Growth -Immunisations Theory and Science (TAS) This test focuses on testing your knowledge of scientific, physiological and pharmacological principles upon which clinical practice is based, and to test the principles of evidence-based practice. This exam costs £310 and will last 2.5 hours. Like the FOP exam, the test questions will be a combination of best of five and extended matching questions. TAS Exam Advice The focus on this exam is not on general knowledge but on the specifics of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and immunology underpinning everyday medicine and side effects and actions of drugs. This exam is considered to be one of the harder exams making up the MRCPCH as it involves complex problem solving questions requiring in-depth and often esoteric knowledge. Our tip is to make sure you revise specifics including receptors and pathways which do not come up in clinical exams, in addition to statistical data and interpretation of data. Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) This exam will assess your knowledge, understanding and clinical decision-making abilities, who have reached the standard of someone entering their specialist training. There are two parts to this exam which will last for 2.5 hours each and you will have to take both exams on the same day. The cost of this exam is £525. The question types will be a combination of best list/single best answer, extended matching questions, photographic material, data interpretation and case histories. Your marks will be combined from the two AKP exams for an overall mark and each exam will carry approximately the same amount of marks. What is a best list/single best answer? There is one best answer from a given list, however, all the answer options given may be reasonable, one will be the best answer. Marks will only be awarded for choosing the correct answer. APK Exam Advice This exam is more clinically based, and therefore some enjoy revising for this exam the most. We advise for you to focus on your weaker areas, which for most candidates is statistical data. When revising for this exam a popular technique is to use flow charts and diagrams for difficult areas such as metabolic medicine, heart murmurs and immunology. MRCPCH Clinical This exam will assess whether you have reached the standard in clinical skills expected of a specialised doctor. The exam costs £750, it comprises of ten stations which will test your skills in: child development, communications skills, history-taking and management planning, recognition and diagnosis of clinical signs and symptoms and physical examination skills. Clinical Exam Advice This is the only exam which follows a curriculum so it is important that you utilise the standard examination circuit, which gives details on station topics, length of each station and how many examiners – so exploit this information. An excellent resource for further guidance on this exam can be found here. Please note that that Royal College allows the FOP and TAS to be purchased together at a cheaper price than buying them individually, this will cost you £525. Availability of test centres Not all of the test centres/cities/countries listed will offer the exam at each sitting. If you do not see the country below that you wish to take your exam in then contact the MRCPCH Examinations Team on exams@rcpch.ac.uk. Saudi Arabia – Gender Specific Centres – Test centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam will be gender-specific. So if you apply to a centre in Saudi Arabia, please ensure your details are correct, and that you book into the appropriate test centre. UK and Republic of Ireland Test Centres Aberdeen Bedford Belfast Birmingham Blackburn Bristol Cambridge Canterbury Cardiff Chelmsford Chesterfield Crawley Crewe Dublin Edinburgh Glasgow Leeds London Manchester Milton Keynes Newcastle Northampton Nottingham Preston Reading Rotherham Taunton Warrington Wetherby Overseas Abu Dhabi Bahrain Bangalore Chennai Egypt Hong Kong Hyderbad Jordan Kolkata Kuwait Malaysia Malta Mumbai Myanmar New Delhi Oman (Ghala Heights) Oman (New Salah) Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Sudan Trinidad Please note that there are other available Paediatrics postgraduate qualifications which the GMC recognise, and if you hold one of these you will not be required to take the MRCPCH or PLAB. A full list of GMC Recognised postgraduate qualifications can be found here. What happens on the day of my exam? Before the exam you will receive address details of your test centre including registration time. Check the address of the test centre prior to the day and use Google Maps to see what the building looks like form the outside to make it easier to find on examination day. You will need to bring a form of ID to the test centre. This can be a valid passport, valid driving licence or a national identity card – only original documents will be accepted. What happens after my exam? You will receive an email notification informing you your exam results are ready five to six weeks after you have sat the exam. You can view your results via your account on the MRCPCH website. Suggested website of MRCPCH revision books: http://mrcpch.paediatrics.co.uk/suggested-books/ If you are a Paediatrician who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then get in contact with us by sending your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com.

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