Hello!

This post is to give you a baseline for your preparation. I am aware that the readers might be from a various background. Some are UK infection programme trainees and some are not. A lot of the users of this website are international medical graduates (IMG).

International medical graduates

What I have learned from interacting with various trainees is that if you are an IMG, in general, you should have enough microbiology knowledge, on the assumption that you have already completed your post-graduation. I wouldn’t like to say that you do not need to prepare, but what is more important for you is to know the UK practice. This is a UK examination, so expect the questions will be based on what is relevant to the UK. For example, spending a lot of time on parasitology may not be useful. On the other hand, you need to know a lot more infection control.

Infection trainees

For the UK trainees, my suggestion is maintaining a balance is important. I was trained in Microbiology and Virology and our part 2 included wet practical. The situation has changed since then. In the infection training programme, the focus has moved towards the clinical side at the expense of the laboratory. It is incredibly difficult to fit in clinical microbiology work, clinics, on-call, and laboratory practice. I strongly suggest that you maintain a balance. It is easy to neglect the laboratory microbiology when you are sucked into the exciting clinical work.

RCPath curriculum

This is your syllabus. Spend a few days on this curriculum. Make a list of the topics. Do a ‘gap analysis’, i.e. write down against that list that what you know and what you don’t. My suggestion is using a traffic light system. Mark those topics green, if you know them well; red if you don’t know much. Amber/yellow if you know a little.

Access the curriculum here.

Here is an example of the gap analysis (only a couple of areas). Adapt it to your need.

RCPath examination FAQ

This is where you should look for answers to your questions regarding the rules and regulations.
You must read this page carefully.

Are you eligible to take the exam?
How to apply?
Dates.
Results
Where can you sit for the exam? etc.

Past papers

RCPath does not allow storing of past papers. Hence, you will not find any past questions here. However, the examination is based on current UK practice and issues. You will have questions similar to what you expect in the examination.

I would suggest you join the Facebook group as well.

If you are looking for examples of past papers, you can find some of them on the RCPath website.

Preparatory course

There is a limited number of preparatory courses available for this exam.

RCPath International Trainee Support Scheme: I have received feedback that it was useful. RCPath will assign a mentor for you to guide you.

Medical Microbiology FRCPath Part 2 Mock examination: A course in Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester.

If you are aware of any other course, please let me know.

Books

You will find a list of books here.
There are four types of books listed.

1. Textbook: You need to read these books to get your baseline knowledge.
2. Reference book
3. Question bank
4. Others: Optional

Journals

It is important to keep yourself up to date. Go back at least 1 year from your proposed exam date and read the Journals mentioned. UK journals are important, but some reputed International journals should be read as well.
UK journals:
Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
The Journal of Hospital Infection
Infection Prevention in Practice
Journal of Infection
The Lancet Infectious Diseases
Other journals you may want to read:
Clinical Infectious Disease
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Microbiology Reviews

Here is a list of best infection journals

Other resources

Antibiotic:

Read antibiotics that are in the BNF and also new antibiotics.

Some useful websites:

These websites will also help you to learn important microbiology/infection related NHS issues and NHS in general. Read-only what is relevant.
1. Public Health England
2. PHE A to Z
3. Health Protection Report (Subscribe)
4. Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
5. Health Technical Memoranda (HTM)
(Water, ventilation, decontamination, waste)
BSAC
BIA-AMM
HIS
BMA
National Health Executive
NHS improvement
The Medic Portal
NHS England
Kingsfund
Health Education England
The sepsis trust
NICE
MHRA
UKAS
https://www.idimages.org/


Guidelines:

It is difficult to list all the guidelines – review the various UK, EU and US guidelines.
NICE
PHE
HIS
BIA-AMM
PHE common infections
BASHH
BHIVA
BTS
RCOG
SABTO
GMC
ESCMID
IDSA (However, the practice might be different in the UK, e.g. Teicoplanin is not available in the USA)

Also, search for NHS antibiotic guidelines or access via an app e.g Microguide.

18 Comments

    • Azra

      Dear Steve this document does not open . Please can you send another link
      Thanks

  1. Zahida Dar

    Thanks SB and Steve for your valuable information. Could you please send me your email I’d SB as I am an international postgraduate having passed part 1 but struggling for part 2. I have taken plab route as of now to get registered but meanwhile I want to keep myself updated with part 2 exams also. I have the text books you have recommended but I have not read any journal neither do I have any subscription. Can you guide me if I should join journal n infection control society if there is any . It would be really kind of you . If I clear plab 2 in June I am planning to begin with my preparation for part 2 no sooner than later .. Thanks in advance

    • Fatema Juma

      Hello Dr. Zahida
      I’m an international candidate planning to take the FRCPath part 1 microbiology division soon. What resources do you recommend and are there any past papers that I can at?
      Looking forward to hear from you
      Tnank you

    • Ratna

      Hi,
      Zahira
      Can u guide me as Wht books to read and if thr are any MCQ books for FRCPATH Microbiology

      Thanks

      • Zahida Dar

        Hello Ratna , I read oxford handbook of infectious diseases and micro biology, with some USMLE books for Micro pasttest . I read these two books thoroughly and could make it . Hope and wish u wil do it too
        Good luck

  2. Zahida Dar

    Thanks SB and Steve for your valuable information. Could you please send me your email I’d SB as I am an international postgraduate having passed part 1 but struggling for part 2. I have taken plab route as of now to get registered but meanwhile I want to keep myself updated with part 2 exams also. I have the text books you have recommended but I have not read any journal neither do I have any subscription. Can you guide me if I should join journal n infection control society if there is any . It would be really kind of you . If I clear plab 2 in June I am planning to begin with my preparation for part 2 no sooner than later .. Thanks in advance

    • SB

      Dear Zahida,
      I would recommend reading the journals as they will keep you updated about recent topics. You can see the abstracts even without subscribing.
      The membership may cost £25-50 for BSAC, BIA and HIS. However, depending on your situation you may get it for less (e.g. trainee membership).
      I put all the information I have on the website. The forum might be a good place to ask the question(s) that you may have. I or other users hopefully would be able to help as much as we can.
      I would also recommend speaking to other trainees who might have taken the exam recently. Analyse the questions and prepare based on that. Consider platforms like Linkedin.

      • Zahida Dar

        Thanks a lot ..Wil definitely go thru journal abstracts n other recommended materials as suggested. Thanks once again

  3. Ratna

    R thr any MCQ books for FRCPATH Microbiology?

  4. SB

    Not to my knowledge. You can read USMLE books to practice clinical scenarios, but remember that they are for the US. So you need to adapt your answers.

    A new book being published – written by Luke Moore and James Hatcher, called Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Virology.

    I haven’t read this book yet, but authors claim that it would help with FRCPath preparation. Expected release date October 2019.

  5. Ahmad

    does the local advisor have any role in registration?
    bcuz i am trying to contact with him long time ago but no answer.

  6. nazia123nagi

    hi, i am a second year post graduate student from india and am intending to begin my preparation for frcpath microbiology part 1.
    what i dont understand is that the part 1 exam for medical microbiology and CICE is different?

    • Anon

      Part 1 if you are not in the UK infection training programme.

    • SB

      They are same examination. If you are an infectious disease trainee it is CICE. If you are a microbiology or micro-ID trainee, it is FRCPath 1. I believe overseas graduates will fall intu the 2nd category. Please confirm with RCPath if required.

  7. Betty

    Thank you for information. Any suggestions for virology

    • SB

      Hi Betty, read a standard textbook like oxford handbook thoroughly. Collect important guidelines (check the RCPath curriculum), infection control guidelines, green book, and basic virology related issues. One way of doing it will be reviewing each virus and read the management of common clinical problems they cause. Read antivirals, including newer drugs. Go through PHE website and pick up virology topics.

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