Guidelines for MRCP PACES


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Guidelines for MRCP PACES

Candidates preparing for MRCP PACES would be well advised to refer to the guidelines published by the RCP regarding what they expect from candidates

We have included a brief summary of the overall expectations

We have also included excerpts from a paper in the BMJ with advice from one of the senior physicians in the RCP involved in conducting the exam .

We have added how ACES for PACES will help you achieve what is expected by the college

MRCP (UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) and Clinical Guidelines 2001/2 Edition

This clearly states in page 1


The MRCP (UK) part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) will test the ability of a candidate to:

1)      Demonstrate the clinical skills of history taking

2)      Examine a patient appropriately to detect the presence or absence of physical signs

3)      Interpret physical signs

4)      Make appropriate diagnosis

5)      Develop and discuss emergency, immediate and long term management plans

6)      Communicate clinical information to colleagues, patients or their relatives

7)      Discuss ethical issues

ACES for PACES is relevant to the above which is what the RCP require

1)      Demonstrate the clinical skills of history taking:

Chapter 4 is dedicated to an in depth analysis and description of history taking

2)      Examine a patient appropriately to detect the presence or absence of physical signs:

    Chapters 4 to 7 analyse and describe examination. Further at the beginning of each chapter on the systems there is a detailed description of examination routines for each system

3)      Interpret physical signs:

The chapters on the systems have an extensive list of likely clinical features, a description of the clinical features and an analysis of their causes

4)      Make appropriate diagnosis:

     The preface and chapter 3 have  an in depth analysis of diagnosis and the methods of reaching a diagnosis

5)      Develop and discuss emergency, immediate and long term management plans:

     Chapter 18 gives a pragmatic approach to planning investigations and management

6)      Communicate clinical information to colleagues, patients or their relatives:

Chapter 18 has an in depth analysis of communication

7)  Discuss ethical issues:

Chapter 18 discusses ethics and how to approach this issue

From the following paper in the BMJ

How to pass the MRCP

As part of our series to help you succeed in the current postgraduate royal college exams, Sabina Dosani and Peter Cross give the lowdown on the membership exam of the Royal College of Physicians and interview examiners and candidates for their tips on passing

Professor Peter Kopelman is the incoming chairman of the MRCP clinical examining board. His area of expertise is PACES

“Candidates fail because they have poor examination technique or poor history taking skills. Others are unable to interpret findings to put together a differential diagnosis.

Increasingly young doctors are aware that revision courses only tell you about exam method, and that application and interpretation of physical signs comes from experience.”

“My advice to candidates is to be as experienced as you can. Go back to day one of medical training and read a clinical methods book. Appreciate the applied physiology.

Understand what physical signs mean. A lot of junior doctors are poor at analysing them. Be observed in your clinical method by a senior doctor prepared to compliment or criticise. Courses can’t provide that but the consultant on your post take ward round can.”

ACES for PACES fulfills the recommendations of Professor Kopelman

a)      It is a clinical methods book

b)      It gives description of history taking and physical examination skills

c)      It shows you how to analyse and interpret clinical signs and symptoms

ACES for PACES does not provide information on topics that are likely to come in the exam with details of pathogenesis, clinical features, investigations and management. This was beyond the scope of a clinical methods book and would have made the book too voluminous.

However, I am pleased to announce that this information is provided in a structured form designed to facilitate understanding and retention of knowledge in the companion book KEYS TO SUCCESS IN MEDICINE


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ACES for PACES is available on Amazon. It is also available on many other internet bookshops.

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