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MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY - Updated guidelines by rcpath for 2004

Author: rcpath, Posted on Thursday, January 01 @ 00:00:00 IST by RxPG  

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MRCPath Part 1

Entry requirements

Part 1: Medically qualified candidates are required to have trained in a recognised regional Higher Specialist Training programme in microbiology for a period of normally not less than 12 months.

Part 2: Medically qualified candidates are required to have trained in a recognised regional Higher Specialist Training programme in microbiology for a period of normally not less than four years.

Note: Applications for entry to the examinations following shorter periods of training must be supported fully by the relevant programme director and educational supervisor, and will be considered jointly by the Chair of the Microbiology Panel of Examiners and the Chair of the Microbiology CATT.

Note: Candidates training as part of joint microbiology/infectious diseases programmes will require similar levels of experience prior to entering Part 1 and Part 2 examinations.

Part 1 examination
Purpose
This in an early assessment of the trainee’s knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of medical microbiology (including virology and infectious diseases).

Format
Multiple choice; mixture of one-best-answer and extended-matching formats designed to test both knowledge and understanding.

Timing
It is anticipated that Part 1 examination will be taken after about 12 months of training as a specialist registrar in microbiology, although some candidates may attempt the examination at an earlier stage, particularly if they have completed a year as a microbiology senior house officer.

Curriculum
This will be drawn from the current curriculum recently approved by the College. The examination will be testing core knowledge in medical microbiology and, in particular, the scientific basis of microbiology and infection.

By the end of year one, trainees proceeding to the MRCPath 1 examination should:
· have acquired knowledge of basic biology and host response to bacterial mycological and parasitic agents with understanding of the structure genetics epidemiology, pathogenic mechanisms and immunopathologies involved in disease processes
· understand the principles of epidemiology, presentation, diagnosis and management of the clinical syndromes that result from interactions between micro-organisms and humans
· have acquired laboratory skills necessary for safe microbiological practice and an understanding of the methods for evaluating diagnostic tests
· have a basic understanding of antimicrobial sciences, including susceptibility testing methodology and pharmacological principles
· have a working knowledge of major infection control and public health issues
· have developed, under supervision, core reporting skills
· have gained an understanding of laboratory practice, including health and safety and quality control
· have sufficient understanding of microbiology to offer basic advice on the interpretation of laboratory results
· have a sufficient knowledge of laboratory techniques to underpin clinical practice but have a basic knowledge of presentation management of common infections.
· understand and practice clinical audit and risk management.

Part 2 examination

Purpose
This is a final assessment of competence to practise as a specialist in medical microbiology.

Format
Written paper (balance of essays and short notes) tests knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.

Practical examination tests competence in practical laboratory skills, data interpretation, management of infection and infection control practice. The viva at the end of the practical examination will be retained but kept under review; its purpose is to allow borderline fail candidates an opportunity to acquire additional marks.

Standards and marking

Part 1 MCQ examination:
· objective MCQ examination (single two-hour paper) with computerised marking
· one best answer and extended matching question formats
· experienced group of examiners involved in standard setting and curriculum mapping
· criterion-based pass-mark set for each examination by Panel of Examiners (individual question review to create minimum standard)
· individual candidate performance available
· biannual examination review.

Part 2 written examination:
· essay and short-note questions in two three-hour papers
· each examination mapped across curriculum
· outline model answers for all questions
· examiners mark in blinded pairs to model answer
· closed marking scheme
· discrepant marks (>1 mark out) reviewed by Panel chairperson
· individual candidate performance available.

Part 2 practical examination:
· six questions over three-day period, plus 20 minute viva
· questions designed to test basic laboratory, interpretive and clinical management skills and competencies
· questions set by group of examiners following set protocol
· outline model answers for all questions
· blinded double marking
· ‘closed’ marking scheme
· individual candidate performance available.



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