Failing post grad medical exams

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wyann LT
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#1
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#1
If you fail MRCS PART A 6 times can you never become a surgeon since you cannot do the test again?

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ecolier
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#2
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#2
(Original post by wyann LT)
If you fail MRCS PART A 6 times can you never become a surgeon since you cannot do the test again?

thank you
Technically with the training programme director's support you can take it one more time... but yes you can't keep retaking and retaking forever and will have to change specialties.

If I recall correctly you can only take the MRCS Part B 4 times.
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wyann LT
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#3
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(Original post by ecolier)
Technically with the training programme director's support you can take it one more time... but yes you can't keep retaking and retaking forever and will have to change specialties.

If I recall correctly you can only take the MRCS Part B 4 times.
so technically if you fail mrcs and mrcp 6 times you can never specialise and stay a junior doctor forever
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ecolier
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(Original post by wyann LT)
so technically if you fail mrcs and mrcp 6 times you can never specialise and stay a junior doctor forever
Erm no, there are plenty of other specialties... GP, A&E, anaesthetics, paeds, psychiatry etc. They all have different post grad exams.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 month ago
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junior.doctor
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(Original post by wyann LT)
so technically if you fail mrcs and mrcp 6 times you can never specialise and stay a junior doctor forever
Those are not the only specialty exams!! Paeds, O&G, anaes, ED, GP, ophthal, radiol, psych, pathology…. And more.

Realistically - if someone is in a specialty training scheme and is unable to pass that specialty’s exams within the required attempts, then as écolier has said there is usually remit to discuss a single further attempt with head of (specialty) school. Usually well before the point of having reached final attempt, there will be other support in place such as study support, meetings with supervisors to discuss issues, dyslexia assessments. I got as far as final attempt with one of my MRCPCH exams. But was having a lot of help and support by then - and was also in discussion with my Head of School who was willing to request a further attempt. Thankfully I passed attempt 6 at that paper. And the other papers took fewer attempts…

You can’t usually progress beyond a certain point in a particular specialty programme without having attained the membership exams. However - a training programme is not the only way to gain experience in a specialty. I know many people who’ve sidestepped out of training (not always because limited by exam attempts) and now doing “staff grade” roles (ie registrar level) without having completed their exams. I don’t know whether it’s possible to CESR without having for the exams. But there are lots of “non traditional” routes through medicine.
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asif007
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#6
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(Original post by wyann LT)
so technically if you fail mrcs and mrcp 6 times you can never specialise and stay a junior doctor forever
If you're thinking about failing MRCS or MRCP 6 times then I would recommend you don't sit either of them. Choose another specialty.
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girl_in_black
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#7
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(Original post by asif007)
If you're thinking about failing MRCS or MRCP 6 times then I would recommend you don't sit either of them. Choose another specialty.
I doubt OP is planning to fail exams on purpose
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wyann LT
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#8
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Can I get into ST1 neurosurgery runthrough training without taking MRCS exam?

If I take MRCS part A and B am I only eligibly to apply for ST3 neurosurgery
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by wyann LT)
Can I get into ST1 neurosurgery runthrough training without taking MRCS exam?

If I take MRCS part A and B am I only eligibly to apply for ST3 neurosurgery
You'd need to check the person spec, I imagine since it's so competitive it may be necessary (either explicitly or implicitly) if it contributes portfolio points.

You may also want to read this if you are considering neurosurgery: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=7219090

If you go into that specialty you may NOT be able to get a consultant post, anywhere, when you finish training!
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ecolier
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#10
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(Original post by wyann LT)
Can I get into ST1 neurosurgery runthrough training without taking MRCS exam?

If I take MRCS part A and B am I only eligibly to apply for ST3 neurosurgery
You'd need to consider carefully before joining the mess of a specialty aka neurosurgery.

There are currently 100 (and counting) more CCT holders without a consultant job because of a huge neurosurgical consultant post shortage: https://qz.com/work/2168589/the-uk-h...rain-surgeons/

You may be able to enter... but you can't progress into ST3 without MRCS.

Why are you worried? Getting a post in ST1 neurosurgery is likely to be much, much harder than passing the 30% pass rate MRCS Part A exam.

P.S. If you're already a med student, why not ask your neurosurgical mentor? If you're a med student aiming for neurosurgery but haven't told anyone about it or have a mentor - it may already be too late. The competition ratio for ST1 neurosurgery last year was nearly 20 applicants to 1 place.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 month ago
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wyann LT
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#11
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#11
(Original post by ecolier)
You'd need to consider carefully before joining the mess of a specialty aka neurosurgery.

There are currently 100 (and counting) more CCT holders without a consultant job because of a huge neurosurgical consultant post shortage: https://qz.com/work/2168589/the-uk-h...rain-surgeons/

You may be able to enter... but you can't progress into ST3 without MRCS.

Why are you worried? Getting a post in ST1 neurosurgery is likely to be much, much harder than passing the 30% pass rate MRCS Part A exam.

P.S. If you're already a med student, why not ask your neurosurgical mentor? If you're a med student aiming for neurosurgery but haven't told anyone about it or have a mentor - it may already be too late. The competition ratio for ST1 neurosurgery last year was nearly 20 applicants to 1 place.
Well I have just finished 1st year going into 2nd year
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ecolier
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(Original post by wyann LT)
Well I have just finished 1st year going into 2nd year
Exactly my point. When I first met a potential neurosurgical med student, he was already well known to every single neurosurgical and neurology doctor by the middle of first year and regularly going into theatres. He's now one of the top dogs of the BMA junior doctors committee at FY1.

But you haven't addressed my other points - have you done any research into the neurosurgical job situation? Why are you worried about the MRCS?
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wyann LT
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#13
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(Original post by ecolier)
Exactly my point. When I first met a potential neurosurgical med student, he was already well known to every single neurosurgical and neurology doctor by the middle of first year and regularly going into theatres. He's now one of the top dogs of the BMA junior doctors committee at FY1.

But you haven't addressed my other points - have you done any research into the neurosurgical job situation? Why are you worried about the MRCS?
Well my med school havent really started placements at any hospitals and we started neuro block at the end of the year so I thought it would be pretty weird to ask neurosurgical doctors for anything when I havent even started or gotten any knowledge of the block
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ecolier
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(Original post by wyann LT)
Well my med school havent really started placements at any hospitals and we started neuro block at the end of the year so I thought it would be pretty weird to ask neurosurgical doctors for anything when I havent even started or gotten any knowledge of the block
Not at all - use your initiative for stuff like this. If you have a med student badge, you should be good to go into the hospitals (not into clinical areas, but into the neurosurgical admin department) and find an enthusiastic neurosurgeon and tell them.

Be prepared to intercalate and intercalate again (for BSc and then later Masters / PhD) because that's what my student did.

Finally, again, why are you worried about failing your MRCS?
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wyann LT
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#15
(Original post by ecolier)
Exactly my point. When I first met a potential neurosurgical med student, he was already well known to every single neurosurgical and neurology doctor by the middle of first year and regularly going into theatres. He's now one of the top dogs of the BMA junior doctors committee at FY1.

But you haven't addressed my other points - have you done any research into the neurosurgical job situation? Why are you worried about the MRCS?
I havent done any research as of yet so can you please tell me how (like do you email the neurosurg specialty lead at my school to ask for research) because people telling me to get research but not really the steps on how to go about it?
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wyann LT
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(Original post by ecolier)
Not at all - use your initiative for stuff like this. If you have a med student badge, you should be good to go into the hospitals (not into clinical areas, but into the neurosurgical admin department) and find an enthusiastic neurosurgeon and tell them.

Be prepared to intercalate and intercalate again (for BSc and then later Masters / PhD) because that's what my student did.

Finally, again, why are you worried about failing your MRCS?
About the MRCS I was just curious (is that wrong lol?)
Last edited by wyann LT; 1 month ago
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ecolier
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(Original post by wyann LT)
I havent done any research as of yet so can you please tell me how (like do you email the neurosurg specialty lead at my school to ask for research) because people telling me to get research but not really the steps on how to go about it?
Well what have you done so far this year? Do you have any contact with any clinical doctors at all?

You would need to find someone in the department first and then get into research. You can't just start research yourself.
(Original post by wyann LT)
About the MRCS I was just curious (is that wrong lol?)
It's just not the mentality of a typical surgeon :rofl: Failing is not in their dictionary.
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wyann LT
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#18
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(Original post by ecolier)
Not at all - use your initiative for stuff like this. If you have a med student badge, you should be good to go into the hospitals (not into clinical areas, but into the neurosurgical admin department) and find an enthusiastic neurosurgeon and tell them.

Be prepared to intercalate and intercalate again (for BSc and then later Masters / PhD) because that's what my student did.

Finally, again, why are you worried about failing your MRCS?
I will definitely do intercalation but that is after year 3 so still got time but why intercalate twice for bsc and masters when you can go straight to masters?
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ecolier
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(Original post by wyann LT)
I will definitely do intercalation but that is after year 3 so still got time but why intercalate twice for bsc and masters when you can go straight to masters?
For some specialties (internal medicine training for example), an intercalated BSc gives you more points than Masters - and it's separate so you get points for a degree and points for a Masters.

For competitive stuff, it really is a matter of the more the better.

Also, third year is pretty late tbh. You will be competing with peple with several PhDs and having tried to get into neurosurgery for years and years so have loads of experience.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 month ago
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wyann LT
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#20
(Original post by ecolier)
Well what have you done so far this year? Do you have any contact with any clinical doctors at all?

You would need to find someone in the department first and then get into research. You can't just start research yourself.


It's just not the mentality of a typical surgeon :rofl: Failing is not in their dictionary.
sooo far the only things neuro-related I have done are:
- got a certificate from attending an (international) neurosurg conference at liverpool
- Did a RS1 research project about brain science of obesity which was part of our assessment for progression but its weird because we did not actually conduct any real research, we all just practiced writing an abstract based off a TED talk (so basically not real research and probs dont count to anything lol)
- I entered a public health competition where I did a pre-recorded presentation on 'should early dementia diagnosis be desirable' but did not win the competition lol (but took part)
- I am an academic rep at neurosoc at liverpool
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