Book Review - Notes for the MRCGP

A guide but not a revision tool. By Dr Hamed Khan

Notes for the MRCGP is a curriculum-based guide to the applied knowledge test (AKT), clinical skills assessment (CSA), and workplace-based assessment (WPBA).

It is both unique and broad enough to attract the attention of many GP trainees, as the new MRCGP exam is not only challenging but also mandatory, unlike in previous years.

The book provides an overview of the MRCGP. The chapters on the AKT and CSA give a detailed synopsis of the format and syllabus of the exams, as well as sample questions and answers. It is particularly useful for those not familiar with the assessments, and who would like to get a 'feel' for what the assessments are like.

The other chapters discuss a handful of topics which not only feature heavily in the exams, but are also essential for one to practise effectively as a GP.

These include clinical topics, such as chronic disease management, as well as the importance of practice administration and GP contracts.

Although there is no single chapter dedicated to WPBA, there is a significant section in the first chapter, which is about the whole MRCGP, although it is not as extensive as the information provided about the AKT or CSA.

Due to the abundance of resources available for trainees via the internet, trainees are likely to refer to the web material provided by the RCGP for much of the information provided in this book.

Nevertheless, this book is likely to be useful for trainees in the early stages of their training and who want an overview of what needs to be done for the MRCGP so they can plan ahead and prepare.

The book fulfils its claim to be a 'guide' for the AKT, CSA and WPBA, although the title of Notes for the MRCGP may lead readers to believe that it is more of a revision tool than a guide.

To fully appreciate the relevance of the topics discussed, it would also be advisable to read the preface, which explains the structure of the book and the selection of its contents

'Notes for the MRCGP' by Dr Keith Palmer and Dr Nicholas Boeckx, worth £29.99 is available from
  • Dr Khan is a GPST2 in Croydon, south London

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