Regional variation in MRCS surgical exam results and performance



Regional variation in MRCS exam results and performance

In recent years the advent of formalised curricula and a quality-assurance programme overseen by the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST) have served to shine a bright light on the educational pathway underlying our surgical apprenticeship.

Such initiatives have been broadly welcomed by the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT), albeit with some reservations. Notwithstanding these, the collection and systematic inspection of objective training measures has allowed a new emphasis to be placed on the quality of surgical training.

The process and outcomes can now be studied in detail, augmented by data from the surgical placement and curriculum evaluation (SPACE) questionnaires and Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) e-portfolios.

One aspect not previously investigated is the relative examination performance of candidates originating from the different regional training rotations. Word of mouth and academic reputation have frequently been used as unreliable surrogates in measuring the potential quality of a region’s rotation.

This ASiT study ranked UK training regions according to their candidates’ performance in the Intercollegiate MRCS in order to establish an objective measure of relative performance.

Click here to view the results in this free article published in the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.


Fitzgerald E, Giddings C. Regional variations in surgical examination performance across the UK: is there a postcode lottery in training? Ann R Coll Surg Engl (Suppl) 2011;93:214–216. DOI 10.1308/147363511X577244.



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Added on: 4th January 2012

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This page was last updated on 07-01-2012
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