How to Approach the MRCGP
3. Paper 2
Utilise these before rushing out to but any books. I have generally found the Past Test books the most valid for this paper.
Questions will be based upon recent nationally accepted evidence, but there will always be common questions e.g. Sickness Certification, DVLA regulations that appear.
Start looking at image interpretation e.g. ECGs, rashes, retinal images - these usually make up 3-4 questions.
You need to start early . The examiners are stringent with the criteria. It is the only module you have any control over so utilise this to your advantage. Get familiar with videoing your consultations. Use the RCGP video mark sheet and clarify what each criteria entails. Mark your videos over a period of time and you will find that inevitably it is similar criteria that you are failing to meet on each occasion. There is valuable feedback on this on the RCGP website - as a general rule candidates that fail do so on Pass Criteria 3, 4 and 12 - deemed the most patient centred criteria
My horror story as a GP registrar was taking what I thought was my best video to the RCGP MRCGP Course and failing almost all the criteria! I then had 3 weeks to get my video in!!
This is assessed a couple of months after the written papers. Practice is key!! Fluency in what you say and how this comes across plays a great part in succeeding in this component. The questions are based upon areas of competence within different contextual areas. See www.geocities.com/mrcgpcourses for a bank of viva type questions. The skill here is to consider both sides of an argument before making a justified decision. You don't want to be too flexible or rigid, and you will be pushed to make a decision if you sit on the fence.
Practice the viva in a study group if possible, with two of you acting as examiners and alternating questions. If you don't have a study group practice in front of the mirror! Practice talking through problem type and ethical scenarios out aloud.
Dr. Nigel Giam
MRCGP Course Organiser for the London Faculties RCGP
www.geocities.com/mrcgpcourses - for more information on the exam and resources available