The MRCP(UK) exam is an internal medicine specialization exam conducted by the Royal college of Physicians in the United Kingdom. All the British internal medicine trainees are required to appear in this exam during their core training. Successful candidates receive the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom – MRCP(UK) post-graduate diploma.
In Pakistan the MRCP(UK) diploma is considered equivalent to FCPS, allowing the physician to work as consultant or in teaching faculty. The exam consists of three parts;
MRCP Part 1 (written paper);
MRCP Part 2 (written paper);
MRCP Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES).
The MRCP part 1 & 2 written are MCQS based exam that evaluate the basic as well as clinical diagnosis, judgement & decision-making.
MRCP 2 PACES is a practical exam assessing candidates history, examination, management plans, counselling and consultation skills observed by an examiner.
MRCP PACES CENTER IN PAKISTAN
MRCP 1 and 2 written examinations centres were available in Pakistan for some considerable time but for those candidates who intended to appear in the PACES exam they had no local option uptill now, UAE & UK were the favoured centres by the Pakistani candidates, though the exam process was quite cumbersome as the international centres have limited seats and usually prefer the local applicants in priority. Apart from the limited slots, exam fee is also more for international candidates, also add in the travelling, residence, insurance, visa and air tickets.
Pakistani candidates as well as the local royal college members had been actively advocating for establishment of PACES centre in Pakistan, for years.
RCP announced the establishment of PACES centre in Pakistan in february 2020 and conducted mock exercise & exams, with encouraging results, the RCP(UK) announced the delivery of first ever successful PACES exam in Pakistan held in the first week of November 2020.
Among the local leadership, Prof Aamir Ghafoor Khan and Major General Imran Fazal played a significant part.
The exam centre is based in Pak Emirates Hospital in Rawalpindi, local as well as UK examiners were part of the evaluation team.
MRCP is one of the most popular post-graduation exams and has recognition in a number of countries in europe and middle-east, now with the PACES centre in Pakistan this exam is now more accessible to local doctors, as an alternative or even more feasible compared to FCPS/MD as MRCP doesn’t require selection in the central induction policy or dedicated training seat, only 2 years experience in a tertiary level hospital is required to be eligible for Part 2 exam.