Q & A with Professor Philip Kalra

As the new edition of the renowned MRCP 1 revision tome Essential Revision Notes for MRCP goes on full sale, editor Professor Philip A. Kalra shares his thoughts on the title and how it should be incorporated into your revision schedule. 

Q. So, the long-awaited fourth edition of the best-selling Essential Revision Notes for MRCP is finally here – what can readers expect?
The book has been brought right up-to-date by experts in their respective fields. We’ve kept the same style that made previous editions so successful – concise material, tables, bullets to make the material user friendly – making it a really effective and useful revision aid. 

Q. How would you recommend readers go about using the book as part of their revision plan?
Clearly, every individual is different with their own revision methodology. However, candidates should start preparing early, ideally 4-6 months out from the exam if possible. My advice would be to firstly read and absorb a chapter of Essential Revision Notes for the MRCP – and then attempt some questions in that subject area. While answering the questions, particularly if there is something you’re unsure of, it would be good practice to re-read the relevant section of the ERN which will really help to cement your understanding. By repeating this for each chapter you will very quickly have a solid all-round knowledge and be well-prepared for the MRCP 1 (and MRCP 2) exams. 

Q. Essential Revision Notes for MRCP is THE revision book for the MRCP 1 exam – what makes it so successful?
Over the years the book has certainly become well-established and a lot of that is down to the quality of the contributors and production team. It’s very readable and user-friendly, due to its clear layout and style, and covers all the necessary information for the MRCP 1 exam. We’re all very proud of it and I hope it continues to help MRCP candidates pass their exams for many years to come!

As the global interest in sitting the RCP exams has grown so has the widespread interest in the book. We are aware that bookshops elsewhere in the world are keen to have stocks of the title, particularly in countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and India.

Q. How has the process of editing the book changed since the first edition was published in 1999?
It’s so much easier now that everything is electronic and this really helps to speed the process up. Earlier editions were all paper-based meaning I had to make hand-written edits and suggestions. I do wonder how we used to cope! Everything is now done digitally; then of course there’s the eBook which involves nothing more than a file conversion and then it’s ready to buy and read on tablets. We are also working hard to develop enhanced chapters which will move the reading experience on to a whole new level.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to an MRCP student, what would it be?
Easy – specialise in Nephrology, it’s a fantastic subject – but then I would say that wouldn’t I!?
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