The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health is responsible for child health and well-being, and to become a Member of RCPCH (MRCPCH), the applicant has to clear four postgraduate examinations hosted in many countries. You have an opportunity to take these exams thrice every year in February, July, and October. The exam’s objective is to choose the best candidates proficient in the most required pediatric skills by the industry.
Who is a Pediatrician? Why Choose Pediatrics as a Specialty?
A pediatrician is a child health specialist who looks after the medical and health needs of growing children. They are responsible for conducting regular health checkups, diagnosing any illnesses and injuries.
Pediatrics is a remarkable line of specialization and a viable career option for young doctors who have completed their MBBS in India and are looking to work in the UK or anywhere abroad. Pediatrics deals with children, and it enables long-term networking with the families. You get to handle several patients as your pediatric services expand by word of mouth. A family can have many children as well.
What is the scope of MRCPCH?
As a member of The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, many opportunities open up for you. For example, you will be eligible to practice in the UK and apply for senior positions which require MRCPCH or equivalent in the primary requirements along with MBBS.
Apart from the United Kingdom, the membership holds merit and is considered valid in Ireland, Singapore, India, and most countries in the Gulf, Asia, and Europe. The members of the Royal College of Physicians can practice anywhere.
They can bypass many qualifying exams mandated by countries to become pediatric consultants.
If you want to work in the UK, many suggestions point to giving different exams. Either you can complete your education in the UK. Or, you can prepare and clear the exams in your native country and then apply for specialty training in the UK. The scope of employment for MRCPCH is ever-expanding since the institutions and hospitals always need someone with experience to fill the senior posts.
A foreign applicant has to qualify to sit and attend the exams first. Below are the essential exams you need to clear for taking up MRCPCH while in India.
1) IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or OET (Occupational English Test):
These exams test your English skills, how well do you understand the language and communication skills. Students need to score a 7.0 band at the least to sit for the PLAB.
2) PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board): This test assesses your ability as a doctor and how safely and you can work as a senior house officer (SHO)
PLAB, however, is not the only way to prove your professional abilities. If you have completed your internship in your native country, PLAB is not required. Indian doctors who hold a licence can go ahead and take up the MRCPCH exam.
What is the Structure of the MRCPCH Exam?
MRCPCH follows a 3+1 schema, three written exams, and a clinical test that ensures that the applicant knows the practical application of the subjects. The exam details are as follows:
Foundation of Practice (FOP) theory examination
- This examination fathoms the depth of your understanding of child health. The question paper consists of single best answer type questions (SBAs). Extended matching questions (EMQs) have more choices to pick the right or the most suitable answer.
Theory and Science (TAS) theory examination
- The second exams test scholars’ command of scientific, physiological, and pharmacological subjects. Many students find this exam difficult. But, with practice and the correct revision techniques, you can clear the exams.
Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) theory examination (knowledge synthesis/evaluation, clinical decision making, and management)
- This examination evaluates the candidate’s decision-making abilities, data-based assessment, and management by showing sample reports, diagnoses, and case studies.
MRCPCH Clinical Examination (multi-station OSCE): Clinical exam has a few requirements before applying for the exam.
1) The applicant must have completed 30 months of training, with 12 months of specialized training in pediatric care.
2) Minimum of six months in a position with more responsibilities and unselected emergency cases or six months of experience in pediatric clinic setup.
You can read more about the clinical exam here.
Career after MRCPCH
Once you have completed your MRCPCH, you can apply for registration and a licence. Yet, you have other career paths that are related to acquiring specialized training.
You can enroll as
- Medical Training Initiative (Paediatrics) – MTI(p): It is a two-year fellowship assured by RCP. This program is for unregistered doctors from developing nations who wish to work in the UK.
- International Paediatric Sponsorship Scheme (IPSS): This scheme allows international students to ease specialty learning. For the doctors who miss the eligibility criteria for MTI (p).
- Entry into a UK training program, including sub-specialty training: International students are not required to take the specialty training if they are GMC registered. They are equal to the non-training positions.
SHO (Senior House Officer)
Suppose you are unsuccessful in getting the sponsorship from RCP, there are other ways with which you can work around this, and you can apply for the SHO position in any hospital or institution.
You will be under the supervision of consultants and specialists. On the job, you will implement your understanding of core subjects. They are similar to junior doctors, and the work hierarchy is quite the same.
- 1st year, Pre-registration house officer
- 2nd year, Senior house officer
CMT (Core medical training)
Look for more advanced training in pediatric specialties. The trainees are specialty registrars. This is a two-year program the interns
- CMT doctor in the first year is a CT-1
- CMT doctor in the second year is a CT-2
You are always ready to register with GMC after MRCPCH. Yet, the path that we are discussing here is about specialization. Please do not consider them as post MRCPCH exams. The trainees would be constantly tested through the periodic tests thrice during the training term.
SCE (Specialty certificate examination)
Once you conclude your specialty training, you can apply for the specialty certification exam. The exams hold loads of weightage and while taking ST3 specialty.
MRCPCH is a challenging exam that requires proper guidance and support from the teaching faculty and your end efforts. Therefore, it would be advisable to look for the best mentors that can help you set and achieve your learning goals, like Texila American University.