Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons

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Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) is an intercollegiate professional qualification for surgeons in the UK and Ireland. Passing the assessment allows a doctor to become a member of one of the four surgical colleges in the UK and Ireland, namely the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The examinations are currently organised on an intercollegiate basis.[1]


The MRCS qualification consists of a multi-part postgraduate medical examination including both theory and practical assessments. Part A MRCS is a written examination, divided into two papers, each of two hours’ duration. Both papers are taken on the same day and examine generic surgical sciences and applied knowledge, using multiple-choice Single Best Answer and Extended Matching Questions. Part B MRCS assess through a series of stations reflecting elements of day-to-day clinical practice, which can only be taken after successful completion of Part A.[2] Current curricula has changed to introduce the completion of both exams as a mandatory requirement to complete core surgical training prior to application to higher surgical training (ST3) in the UK. Trainees may require multiple attempts at the examination in order to pass.

Each college used to hold examinations independently, but latterly to a common syllabus. However, in January 2004, the four colleges switched over to a common examination, known as the Intercollegiate MRCS. A large and varied collection of commercial revision resources are available that are designed to improve a candidate's chances of success. These resources include courses, books, online question banks and mobile applications.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome to MRCS From September 2008". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Your Guide to the MRCS". The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 

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