Islamabad: The Member Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) exams, one of the most prestigious exams in the world, will begin in Islamabad – benefitting doctors in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries.
MRCP is the postgraduate programme for specialization. The exam is conducted by the Royal College of Physicians London in June every year. It is divided into three parts: Part I, Part II and the Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills (PACES). Parts I and II are held in various countries, including Abu Dhabi, but students must travel to the UK for the third part, PACES.
Royal College of Physicians international advisor Dr Javed Akram told Dawn that about 7,000 doctors travel abroad every year for the MRCP.
“On average, each doctors spends Rs500,000 on the exam, but only 60 to 70 doctors pass and the others try again next year. If MRCP comes to Pakistan, doctors’ expenses will be reduced and they will be able to attend the exam without taking much leave from hospitals. And doctors from Afghanistan and other countries will also come to Pakistan to clear the exam,” Dr Akram said.
Dr Akram, who is also the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) vice chancellor, said all three parts of the MRCP will be held in Pakistan from June 2016.
“Exams are held at the same time all over the world because the question papers are used all over the world. In Pakistan, we will receive the same question papers through the British Council. The exam will be held in Islamabad,” he said.
Dr Akram said that in addition, 40 doctors will be sent to the Royal College of Physicians every year to participate in two year courses in various fields that are lacking in Pakistan.
“Because of terrorist attacks in Pakistan we require doctors that specialise in emergency medicine, so it has been decided that most of the doctors will be sent to specialise in this field. A team from the Royal College of Physicians, headed by Prof Peter Teweby and Dr Faraz Mir, has been visiting Pakistan and will interview candidates from November 21 to November 23 in Islamabad,” he said.
He said that during their visit, the team would also hold training workshops for undergraduate medical students.
“Training sessions will be held at both Pims and the Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC). It will be beneficial to the students as both professors are considered authorities in their fields,” Dr Akram said.
He said that arrangements are also being made to facilitate FMDC students to complete two years of their course in Pakistan and the remaining two years at the Royal College of Physicians.