The MRCS Exam
The Membership Examination of the Surgical Royal Colleges of Great Britain and Ireland (the MRCS) is designed for surgical trainees in the generality part of specialty training. The MRCS examination is a crucial milestone in a surgical career; it determines whether a surgical trainee possesses the correct knowledge, skills and attributes to complete basic training and to progress to higher levels of specialist surgical training.
The MRCS examination is intercollegiate, meaning that it is common to all Colleges (The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, The Royal College of Surgeons of England and The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland).
Founded in 1505, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the oldest and largest of the surgical colleges in the world. By choosing to sit your MRCS examination Part B with us, you will be joining our membership network of approximately 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. As well as joining a College renowned for its friendliness and approachability, the College offers a wide range of membership services to support you through every step in your career and professional development.
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh offers the examination at a variety of locations throughout the UK and internationally. The examination is made up of two parts, A and B.
Part A of the MRCS is a written examination, divided into two papers. From January 2017, the Applied Basic Science paper is three hours’ duration and the Principles of Surgery in General paper is two hours. Both papers are taken on the same day and examine generic surgical sciences and applied knowledge, using multiple-choice Single Best Answer and Extended Matching Questions. The marks for both papers are combined to give a total mark for Part A, but as a candidate you are expected to demonstrate a minimum level of knowledge in each of the two papers in addition to achieving the set pass mark for the combined papers.
The Part B Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) integrates basic surgical scientific knowledge and its application to clinical surgery. Its purpose is to build on the test of knowledge in Part A and assess how you are able to integrate knowledge and apply it in clinically appropriate contexts. This is done through a series of stations reflecting elements of day-to-day clinical practice.
It is worth giving some thought to which College you wish to ultimately become a member of, as the College where you pass Part B will be the College which offers you membership. We hope that you will consider The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for your examinations and membership throughout your surgical career.
MRCS Preparation Lectures, Courses and Resources
The College regularly hosts a series of MRCS lectures around the UK. These lectures are designed to provide an insight into the examination with a particular focus on the Part B OSCE; the purpose and format of the exam, the broad content areas, domains, how the exam is assessed and marked and an insight from the perspective of an Intercollegiate MRCS Examiner.
MRCS Preparation Courses
The College also offers regular MRCS preparation courses throughout the UK and internationally.
The Mock MRCS OSCE Course simulates examination conditions to improve your examination technique and develop self-assessment. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), a major component of the Royal College of Surgeons' Membership Examination (MRCS), may be of a format unfamiliar to many potential examinees.
The Edinburgh MRCS OSCE Preparation Course is held in the UK and internationally. This popular course aims to help improve performance in the MRCS Part B examination via practice sessions and discussions with examiners on the pitfalls and problems commonly encountered with the examination process. The course structure includes short lectures, discussion groups and OSCE stations.
The Anatomy for MRCS OSCEs Course aims to adequately prepare you for the anatomy sections of the MRCS, both in building knowledge and in presentation/delivery. This two-day revision course is primarily for those planning to sit the Intercollegiate MRCS Part B OSCE Examination. The aim of the course is to augment knowledge, and to facilitate the understanding and learning of surgically applied anatomy with hands-on, 3-dimensional experience and discussion. The course is designed to allow small groups to work actively with cadaveric specimens and includes interactive sessions on surface anatomy and radiological anatomy
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has developed a unique online learning programme in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh to guide and support surgical trainees in the early stages of their career, and in particular with preparation for the MRCS. Find out more here.