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How to Pass Your MRCPCH Exams and Become a Paediatrician in the UK


Hi, my name is Pranshu Khurana. I am an IMG from India, and I am working as a clinical fellow in one of the biggest children’s hospital in London. In today's blog, I am going to tell you about what is MRCPCH and how you can ace it and become the kid's doctor you always wanted to be. I will discuss in this blog the following:


  • What is MRCPCH?

  • Parts of the exam Clinical vs Theory

  • How to prepare for it

  • Final tips and tricks

 

MRCPCH


To become a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health one has to pass all four separate post-graduate exams. All UK trainees undergoing Paediatrics training sit for these exams as part of their training programme. Paediatricians from around the world take MRCPCH to demonstrate their standards of practice or as part of their local training programme. It is an essential component of training for paediatricians in the UK and it is mapped to the UK curriculum. This exam is approved by the General Medical Council as meeting the required standards. This exam is equivalent to MD exams of several countries and after passing this you can practice as a Paediatrician in the UK or even in some of the countries around the world.

 

Parts of MRCPCH 


  • Foundation of Practice (FOP) - theory exam

  • Theory and Science (TAS) - theory exam

  • Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) - theory exam

  • MRCPCH Clinical exam


The theory exams can be taken either together or separately depending on your preparations, we can take these theory exams in any order and these exams take place 3 times every year but to sit for the Clinical exam you need to first pass all of the theory exams. The main thing is you don’t need to pass the English proficiency test IELTS/OET to sit for these exams. You can make an online account on RCPCH and book these exams.


The clinical exams are a bit tricky as they require some knowledge and tricks that you can only learn if you have worked in UK hospitals, as it is a clinical exam so you will be directly seeing patients and managing, diagnosing and treating them. It is an OSCE exam that will test different domains and conform to the highest standards of assessment and medical education. To ensure the pre-eminence of the MRCPCH, the College rigorously quality assures all processes and actively engages in research and ongoing development work.

 

Preparing for the Exams


The theory exams take place all around the world and are computer-based exams that can be easily booked by creating an account on the RCPCH website. The dates and test centre details are easily accessible on the website. These are expensive exams that can cost you around 1300 GBP just for the theory exams and even more if you take them outside the UK. On the other hand, the clinical exams also can be taken from around the world it will cost you around 900 GBP in the UK and almost double when taken elsewhere. 


To prepare for the theory exams you need a sound background knowledge of Paediatrics and there are several resources that you use to ace this exam. First and foremost you need strong intentions to write the exam then only you will make it. There are a few resources that are useful for preparation:


  1. Science of Paediatrics

  2. Illustrated textbook of Paediatrics

  3. Essential revision notes for MRCPCH (DIY)

  4. Pastest for Questions

  5. Clinical cases of FOP and TAS

  6. NICE guidelines

  7. Sample papers.


In my following Blogs I will be covering AKP and then the clinical exams as well along my journey with these exams.


Golden Tips and Tricks 


There is a saying I abide by “There are no shortcuts to success”. You have to take the stairs and put in the hard work to pass these crucial exams for your better future. The FOP exam will test your basic Paediatric knowledge and the TAS will have scientific questions requiring understanding of the physiology.


The most important thing is to make handwritten notes of all the important topics that you study and to revise them at least twice before your exam. Remember revision is the key to passing any exam. Do watch some videos online that will help you strategize your preparation in a way that will make the journey easier for you. In the end, just remember these exams are just part of your life as a doctor, so don’t stress too much and enjoy the process.


If you need more tips and strategies then do follow Trewlink which is a wonderful platform for IMGs that helps and guides you in all possible ways. If you have any questions about building your portfolio, I would be happy to answer them at trewlink.com. You can register using this link. Find me as an Ambassador/Expert and Follow my profile Pranshu Khurana to receive regular support and advice.

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