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MRCPCH Clinical Exam: Instant Insights
  • 19 Mar 2021

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Check out our latest insights about the MRCPCH Clinical February 2021 exam. We’ve been busy collecting candidate feedback through telephone interviews and post exam surveys, and we’re already using this to inform the development of our MRCPCH Clinical resources over the coming months. Here’s a summary of what we’ve found out so far:

MRCPCH Clinical February 2021: Exam Content & Experience

- Due to COVID restrictions in the UK, the exam was conducted in an online format which came with many unique challenges including presentation skills, technical difficulties, timekeeping and more.

- Technical delays due to connection difficulties added up to an hour and 15 minutes to the exam itself, making for a very long day; ensure you get a good night's sleep beforehand and you have enough energy for a long slog!

- Candidates adapted well to the Communication, History-taking and Video cases, but felt there was a disconnect in the Clinical cases between conducting an examination in person and verbally describing the examination; ample practice with colleagues is recommended ensuring you’re verbalising what and why you’re doing something.

- Candidates were presented with images, growth charts and sometimes heart sounds (verbally demonstrated by the examiner) before beginning the ‘examination’.

- Physical signs aren’t always obvious, especially in an online format so be sure to ask probing questions.

- There may be background noise or issues with audio quality, try not to let this distract you or break your train of thought.

- Ophthalmology cases were not present in the online exam as they were impossible to deliver verbally. 

- Child Development & Communication Skills were considered the most difficult stations in the exam; cases seen in these stations included Sturge Weber syndrome, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, speech delay, Coeliac Disease management and Asthma management plans.

Previous Exam content

Please note that this feedback is from candidates who took the exam in a physical setting:

- Some candidates reported arriving to active outpatient wings in hospitals, which was disconcerting as they were expecting more of an 'exam environment'.

- Time keeping can still be an issue in the new format, particularly if you’re met with an uncooperative child.

- There’s the potential for Ophthalmology cases within the new clinical stations, so make sure to swot up on your eye examinations.

- Overall, candidates reported that the examiners were friendly, however there may be a couple of leading questions, so make sure to take these hints!

- Commonly seen cases included: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and Thalassaemia.

Find out more about our MRCPCH Clinical subscription comprising over 140 videos, and a wealth of essential resources such as spot diagnosis images, case notes and questions.

  • 19 Mar 2021