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Preparing Future Specialists for MRCP UK PACES Examination

27 Oct 2017

MRCP UK PACES examination is the gateway to become a specialist physician in the United Kingdom and in British Commonwealth countries. Success at this examination leads to award of the MRCP (UK) diploma that enables admission to Royal College of Physicians of United Kingdom as a member. This year, Royal College of Physicians of London celebrates its 500th anniversary. To help Malaysian doctors acquire this prestigious diploma, a MRCP PACES Preparatory Course and Mock Exam was held at the IMU Clinical Campus and Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar in Seremban from 22 to 24 September 2017. It was conducted over three days with 56 doctors, including one from Singapore, participating as candidates. Most of these participants would be sitting for the next UK MRCP PACES examination. There were 18 facilitators/examiners, most of them were regular examiners at MRCP UK PACES exam and contributed to the resourceful faculty.

This is the 13th year in succession for this course that was pioneered by Prof Dato’ Kew Siang Tong. Majority of academic staff from the IMU Department of Internal Medicine was involved in organising the course, along with their colleagues from the Department of Medicine in HTJS.

Preparation for the Course involved making case scenarios, training surrogates, collecting suitable patients and inviting suitable examiners. This task was accomplished by a dedicated committee of staff from both institutions and it took months of painstaking preparation. The activity was supported by IMU and HTJS.

The Preparatory Course and Mock exam was tailored in such a manner that they were slightly above the standard of the actual MRCP UK PACES examination. In the Preparatory Course, feedback on participant’s performance was given immediately as well as during the debriefing sessions. The format of the Mock Exam is same as in MRCP UK PACES and it comprises of carousel of five stations, dealing with respiratory and abdominal systems examination, history taking skills, cardiovascular and nervous system examination, communication skills and brief clinical consultations, in that order. All examiners at the Mock Exam were experienced examiners at the MRCP UK PACES exam. The participants were then given a debriefing which includes marks they scored, soon after the Mock Exam.

Over the years we have consistently received strongly positive feedback from participants. It is the highlight of the annual activities of the Department of Internal Medicine of the IMU. Besides academic contribution and income generation, it helps the IMU and the HTJS in capacity building. In this landmark year in which the IMU celebrates its Silver Jubilee, conducting this course has been something special and valuable.

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