When should I sit the MRCP?
Philip A Kalra puts the case for taking college exams early
Since the inception of the foundation programme, many deaneries have been actively discouraging trainee doctors from working towards membership exams because they feel candidates should be concentrating on attaining prescribed competencies. Study leave and funding are scarce in foundation year 1, and are often limited and difficult to obtain in year 2, making a further disincentive to early acquisition of the part 1 exam for membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP).
Having seen first hand, however, the difficulties that selection panels face when trying to differentiate between applicants at specialty training year 2 (ST2) level applying for year 3 posts, I would argue that obtaining full membership at the earliest opportunity is essential for gaining a competitive edge.
The Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board has recently submitted blueprints to the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board suggesting that MRCP part 1 needs to be completed for