Tough test at the North Cambs

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One of the toughest tests in the post graduate training doctors’ calendar, which is the final hurdle for post graduate trainees, is being held at Wisbech’s North Cambs Hospital this Thursday and Friday (June 20-21).

Sixty doctors from across the UK will be tested to the limit during the two day Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) PACES Examination assessment process which doctors must pass before they can progress to become fully qualified consultant physicians.

The doctors rotate around five clinical stations, where they are given 20 minutes for each scenario based test, and assessed by two senior examiners.

Each doctor is tested in chest, abdomen, staff led and patient led scenarios, talking to real life patients with challenging clinical problems. Ten endoscopy staff from North Cambs Hospital will be actively involved in the conduct of the exam as surrogate patients and also in the administration of the exam. Each clinical station focuses on a different aspect of patient care including communications, ethics, and history taking.

This exam is conducted by the Royal College of Physicians, London, and hosted by Dr Rajaratnam Mathialagan from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn. Dr Mathialagan said: “The MRCP PACES exam is an important milestone for trainee doctors to get through before they can progress on to further training and become specialists. This exam is one of the most revered and recognisable exams in the UK and indeed worldwide, and the standards of attainment are very high”.

Elizabeth Kaynak, team leader on the Endoscopy Suite said: “It is an honour to be selected for the 10th year running to be a venue for the examinations. This will be a very busy time for the hospital involving a lot of staff and organisation, and is a major challenge to co-ordinate patient, host external examiners, and run on time.

“Patients who are normally booked into clinics with doctors on these days have all been rescheduled, and I would like to emphasise that patient care is not affected.”

This year both the Chief Examiner, Dr Graeme Dewhurst and the Chief Organiser, Mr Desmond Bates, both from the Royal College of London will be in attendance.