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Being a medical aspirant, you must have frequently come across the terms FRCOG and MRCOG. But are you aware of their differences? If not, this blog aims to clarify all the queries you may have regarding MRCOG and FRCOG, the critical difference, and how you can prepare for the exams.
Membership of the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (MRCOG)
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is an association based in London, United Kingdom. Its members are obstetricians and gynecologists, working to promote pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health, etc.
The RCOG develops the curriculum of postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology in the United Kingdom. RCOG conducts two main examinations, the membership examination (MRCOG) and the diploma examination (DRCOG).
While the DRCOG examination is for doctors wishing to get certified in the medical specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, the MRCOG examination enables doctors to reach the pinnacle of their profession.
The RCOG membership exam (MRCOG) is an internationally acclaimed standard qualification for career progression in obstetrics and gynecology. The exam consists of three phases:
- MRCOG Part 1 – This is a written examination to evaluate primary and clinical sciences relevant to the specialty.
- MRCOG Part 2 – This too is a written examination that assesses the application of knowledge.
- MRCOG Part 3 – This is a clinical skills exam that evaluates a candidate’s ability to apply clinical skills in the context of the knowledge, aptitude, and competencies defined in the MRCOG curriculum.
Members of the RCOG use the designatory letters MRCOG. The RCOG awards the membership at a council meeting only to those who have successfully cleared all levels of the membership examination.
However, the award of the membership marks a senior status and does not indicate training completion.
Points to consider before you prepare for MRCOG Part 1
Candidates who have obtained their medical degree are eligible to appear for MRCOG Part 1 exam. However, candidates should attain postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology before applying for the Part 1 exam.
Venue and timings
The MRCOG Part 1 examination is held in the British Isles and at selected overseas centers worldwide. The Part 1 examination is being held twice a year, in January and in July. Candidates can find all the relevant details on the RCOG website (www.rcog.org.uk).
The MRCOG Part 1 examination consists of two written papers, each of 100 questions in the format of single best answers (SBAs). In these types of questions, there is only one best answer out of the given options.
Nevertheless, candidates have to attend a total of 200 questions in the Part 1 exam. Each paper is for 2.5 hours with a break of 1 hour between the two papers, resulting in a total duration of 6 hours.
Scoring for the MRCOG Part 1 follows the Ebel method. It is based on the percentile system, i.e., the performance of any candidate is evaluated based on a predefined standard.
The exam standard is nearly equal to the knowledge expected out of an average UK ST2 trainee. Here, the questions are placed under nine categories based on their level of difficulty and relevance.
The passing score usually varies between the top 60–65% of candidates. Those candidates failing to achieve this percentage are not qualified for the exam.
Fellowship in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in India (MRCOG)
Fellowship in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (OB-GYN) is a three-year fellowship program crafted for candidates aiming to clear the MRCOG degree exam. The program helps doctors enhance their existing knowledge, skills, and experience to develop mastery in OB-GYN. The program boosts confidence for the candidates appearing for the MRCOG exam.
The Fellowship in Obstetrics & Gynaecology is a hospital-based fellowship program after MBBS in India. During the program, the students can carry on with their clinical training in any hospital associated with TAU. However, the training involves all necessary rotations as per the requirement of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The program has proven benefits for the students. They can gain valuable insights and training from certified trainers of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK.
- MBBS/ or equivalent qualification with permanent Medical Council Registration
- An attempt in the NEET PG exam
- Students of Indian nationality
- Admission to the program depends on the clearance of the screening test and panel interview
- Hospital-based teaching
- Guided by senior consultants & RCP certified program consultant
- Rotations in departments as per Royal College Standard
- Acquire clinical skills and knowledge through training in hospitals and medical centers
- Review of contemporary articles in the concerned subject
As mentioned above, the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology) membership exam is an internationally acclaimed standard qualification in obstetrics and gynecology.
And members of the RCOG use the designatory letters MRCOG. Nevertheless, membership is awarded only to those who have successfully cleared the membership examination.
On the other hand, fellows use the designatory letters FRCOG. Individuals who are not members of the college but have either contributed significantly to the advancement of the specialty or have demonstrated extraordinary work in the specialty can also receive the fellowship. Distinguished people outside the medical profession can be a recipient of the award too.
Hope now you are well-versed with the fine line of difference between the FRCOG and MRCOG degrees. With over 16,000 fellows and members worldwide, MRCOG is an organization of its kind. Besides, it is recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) as well.
Though getting through RCOG may seem challenging initially, nothing is impossible with hard work and dedication. We are confident that joining a fellowship program in OB-GYN that lays an emphasis on MRCOG exam preparation will encourage and build confidence in the students to appear and clear the clinical exams of MRCOG.