How much time should you give yourself to prepare?

It is difficult to say how long you need as it very much depends upon you –
your method and speed of study,
whether you are working while preparing for the examination (Non-UK trainees; UK trainees – tough, you will be always working while preparing),
whether you are trained in the UK or familiar with the UK system etc.

For UK trainees – I would suggest you discuss with your educational supervisor. He is the best person to advise you if you are ready. I would consider giving myself at least six months. read more

Question 2

Forty-five years old man of  Bangladesh origin presented to the A&E with a 2-month history of cough, fever, haemoptysis and weight loss. Chest X-ray (CXR) revealed upper right lobe haziness and a cavity. WCC – 13 x10^9/L (Normal 4 – 11 x10^9/L ), normal renal function, mildly raised Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and bilirubin, CRP of 50 mg/L (Normal<5 mg/L) . Sputum was acid-fast bacilli (AFB) negative and had been sent for AFB culture.  CT abdomen thorax pelvis– confirmed the cavitation and showed some hypodense area in his spleen.
He has been to Bangladesh recently to visit his flood affected family members. The patient has a background history of diabetes and on
Sputum culture grew this bacteria(see picture for the colony).
It is an aerobic, gram-negative bacillus, sensitive to co-amoxiclav but resistant to amoxicillin, gentamicin, erythromycin, aztreonam.

Bps close.JPG

Q –
Would you consider the bacteria significant?
What is your provisional diagnosis?
What treatment would you consider?
What infection control or precautionary measure would you take considering the epidemiology and the sputum culture result? read more

Parasitology treatment – aide-memoire


Polyhexanide (PHMB) 0.02%
Chlorhexidine 0.02% (+/- Brolene 0.1%)
Propamidine (0.1%) or
hexamidine (0.1%)
Imidazole, neomycin,
NSAID, prednisolone.
(Ref: Acanthamoeba Keratitis Treatment, AAO; Focus, Autumn 2013, RCOphth)
Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis:
The optimum treatment is unknown. A combination of drugs has been used – cotrimoxazole, metronidazole, pentamidine, miltefosine, and fluconazole.
Other drugs with activity – Azithromycin, rifampicin, voriconazole, flucytosine, caspofungin etc.
Cutaneous lesion:
Optimum treatment is unknown. Drugs used-
Topical chlorhexidine, ketoconazole cream,
Pentamidine, Itraconazole, voriconazole, liposomal amphotericin B, flucytosine, miltefosine etc read more

FRCPath Microbiology part 2: Essay type questions for practice

New question: Provide a plan for your trust board how to effectively manage the winter pressure for the next year. Your role is mainly to draft a policy outlining the management of the anticipated norovirus and flu outbreak, but you have to take a more holistic view of other trust services as well.

There is a plan for consolidation of pathology services in your region. Your hospital might lose its laboratory in the consolidation process. Please write a report to the trust board explaining its impact on the service you are providing to your users. read more

Resources for FRCPath part 2 by Dr Katherine Watson, StR, Microbiology

Here are some of the resources that I used in preparation for FRCPath part 2, April 2016 Bristol. One of the most useful things to do is speak to anyone you know who has already sat the exam and ask for all their past questions and tips.

Mycology – A Canadian microbiologist’s blog, has some really great photos of fungi, very useful for familiarising yourself with organisms for spotters and the practical. I printed quite a few out and stuck them around the house, after seeing them every day I felt confident at quickly recognising organisms. read more