New format of part 2 FRCPath Microbiology examination

Source: RCPath website

From Autumn 2017 onwards, the format of the FRCPath Part 2 Medical Microbiology examination has changed. The changes, which have been approved by the General Medical Council, are designed to make the exam more accurately reflect the role of the consultant microbiologist in modern NHS practice; to be in line with new, revised curricula in Medical Microbiology specialty training; and to strengthen the reliability of the examination.

The new-format examination will last two days and be structured as follows:

Structured essay paper and Short-Answer Questions (SAQs): 2 ½ hours

1 essay (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs.

SAQs to be based on clinical and laboratory scenarios and to include:

  • Data interpretation
  • Report validation
  • Laboratory management, including quality assurance, laboratory error/incidents, lab safety
  • Clinical investigation and management
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Anti-microbial stewardship

Critical Appraisal Paper and SAQs: 2 ½ hours

1 journal article to critically appraise (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs (as described above).

Practical Scenarios: 3 ½ hours

  • A series of images, data and other laboratory-based material will be presented with clinical scenarios for which candidates provide interpretation and construct management plans.
  • Clinical scenarios and laboratory material evolve with additional information during the exam to simulate day-to-day clinical practice

Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE): 3 hours

At least 15 stations.