What's the sequence of the professional examinations?

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J1mmy
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I know that once you enter medical school, each school varies on how the conduct the examinations each year, but what I want to know are the examinations, in order, which take place for every graduate. IE, the ones, if any, that take places during the foundation years and beyond?
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Helenia
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It depends entirely on what specialty you choose. There are no compulsory exams for everyone once you have graduated, and the various membership/fellowship exams are organised by individual colleges so follow different patterns. Most are a combination of written papers and practicals. Some can be taken as soon as you like after graduation e.g. MRCS, for others such as MRCP you have to be fully registered with the GMC (i.e. at least an FY2), and for some you can't start the exams unless you're on a training programme for that specialty e.g. FRCA. Completion of your exams is usually a requirement for progression beyond certain points in your training.
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J1mmy
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So the MRCS is when you are taking a surgical speciality and the MRCP is for everyone in their F2 year regardless of what speciality they choose? Does surgery have more examinations than the other specialities?
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Hydromancer
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(Original post by J1mmy)
So the MRCS is when you are taking a surgical speciality and the MRCP is for everyone in their F2 year regardless of what speciality they choose? Does surgery have more examinations than the other specialities?
MRCS (and later FRCP) is for surgery
MRCP is for medicine and it's specialities (ie cardiology, respiratory medicine, even general internal medicine etc)... I think some medical specialities also have an SCE
FRCA (primary earlier and final later) is for anaesthetics
MRCGP for GPs
MCEM and FCEM for A&E... And so forth
Every speciality has pretty much it's own variations. And there are subspecialty variants, eg FRCS(T&O) for orthopaedics.
Surgery I do not think has any more than other specialities. Some specialities eg haematology (Mrcp and MRCPath) and clinical oncology (Mrcp and frcr) require multiple exams.
From anecdotal information the MRCPath (pathology) and FRCA are the harder ones.
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Helenia
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(Original post by J1mmy)
So the MRCS is when you are taking a surgical speciality and the MRCP is for everyone in their F2 year regardless of what speciality they choose? Does surgery have more examinations than the other specialities?
No, there are no compulsory exams for everyone. MRCP is for people wanting to go into any of the medical specialties. I don't know much about the surgical exams but I don't think they do particularly more than anyone else.

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J1mmy
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(Original post by Helenia)
No, there are no compulsory exams for everyone. MRCP is for people wanting to go into any of the medical specialties. I don't know much about the surgical exams but I don't think they do particularly more than anyone else.

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Right, but realistically, as many will pursue with their medical careers, it's likely that they will need to sit the MRCP in their FY2 year? Is that even if they go through an academic route?
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Mushi_master
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(Original post by J1mmy)
Right, but realistically, as many will pursue with their medical careers, it's likely that they will need to sit the MRCP in their FY2 year? Is that even if they go through an academic route?
I think you're getting mixed up here - the MRCP is for the 'medical' specialties, such as cardiology, respiratory medicine, gastroenterology etc. The other specialties are still medicine of course, such as surgery, anaesthetics, A&E, GP, O&G, paediatrics etc etc, but require a different post grad exam.

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J1mmy
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OK, but you sit this MRCP in your FY2 year, knowing what you want enter the medical specialities, whereas you'll expect to sit an equivalent exam if you're pursuing other routes?

I presume preparing for the MRCP is a big deal, having to go over your notes, what happens if you don't pass the first time round?
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Hydromancer
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(Original post by J1mmy)
OK, but you sit this MRCP in your FY2 year, knowing what you want enter the medical specialities, whereas you'll expect to sit an equivalent exam if you're pursuing other routes?

I presume preparing for the MRCP is a big deal, having to go over your notes, what happens if you don't pass the first time round?
Think it's 4 attempts. There are 3 parts.
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Helenia
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(Original post by J1mmy)
OK, but you sit this MRCP in your FY2 year, knowing what you want enter the medical specialities, whereas you'll expect to sit an equivalent exam if you're pursuing other routes?

I presume preparing for the MRCP is a big deal, having to go over your notes, what happens if you don't pass the first time round?
You don't have to take MRCP in FY2 even if you want to do a medical specialty, you can do it in CT1/2, but it must be completed by the end of CT2 to progress to ST3. There are 3 parts to it, each of which requires a different style of preparation, and everyone works in different ways - I did MRCP part 1 only, which is an MCQ exam, so I just did thousands of practice MCQs and made very few notes. Others make a lot of notes. I think you can resit each part 4/5 times if you fail, but as you have to pay for each attempt that would start to get very costly!

Other specialties all have their own exams, some of which can be started in foundation years if you're keen, but others don't allow you to sit the exams until you're registered with them as a trainee (CT/ST1).
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J1mmy
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(Original post by Helenia)
You don't have to take MRCP in FY2 even if you want to do a medical specialty, you can do it in CT1/2, but it must be completed by the end of CT2 to progress to ST3. There are 3 parts to it, each of which requires a different style of preparation, and everyone works in different ways - I did MRCP part 1 only, which is an MCQ exam, so I just did thousands of practice MCQs and made very few notes. Others make a lot of notes. I think you can resit each part 4/5 times if you fail, but as you have to pay for each attempt that would start to get very costly!

Other specialties all have their own exams, some of which can be started in foundation years if you're keen, but others don't allow you to sit the exams until you're registered with them as a trainee (CT/ST1).
Thanks for clearing this up. Is the content based on your medical school stuff? How did you find the exam?
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junior.doctor
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The content is a higher level than medical school Finals, hence them being postgraduate exams. Yes, it will be based on medical school stuff - I suppose in the same way that A-level chemistry is based on GCSE chemistry - but medical school knowledge alone will not suffice. Lots of on-the-job and self-directed learning during your first few years as a doctor.
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