Most UK specialist trainees will enter for MRCOG in their ST4 year, after completing their first year as a registrar at ST3. It is a requirement of the RCOG training matrix to have completed Part 2 and Part 3 of MRCOG by the end of ST5 and trainees will be unable to start ST6 or ATSMs without their exam.
All candidates must apply to have their training assessed to confirm their eligibility before applying for the Part 2 MRCOG exam – a process known as Assessment of Training. Further details regarding this are available on the RCOG website here.
UK specialist trainees apply for Assessment of Training via Route A and must be at ST3 level or above at the date of application for Assessment of Training. This means the earliest that a UK trainee can enter the MRCOG Part 2 exam is in March of their ST3 year. Candidates not in the recognized UK specialist training programme have their Assessment of Training via Route B. They must demonstrate a minimum of 4 years in obstetrics and gynaecology full-time or equivalent post-registration posts in the UK or overseas before being eligible to sit the Part 2 MRCOG exam.
Our advice is to do the exam when you feel you will pass it first time and are prepared to commit the time and effort necessary. For some trainees, this will be at ST3 level. For others, this will be at ST5 level. Whilst the aim should be to pass the exam at the first attempt, it is advisable to make contingency plans for the possibility of needing to resit. UK specialist trainees may only extend their training by a year and if you first take the March exam at ST5 level, then you will automatically be extending your training if you fail. This then puts additional pressure on you for your subsequent attempts and restricts you to a maximum of three attempts before you would automatically lose your National Training Number. Candidates may otherwise attempt MRCOG Part 2 six times.
Whenever you decide to enter for the exam, make sure that you have completed your Assessment of Training well in advance. There is nothing worse than getting mentally prepared for the commitment and then discovering that you are not eligible to enter yet because you forgot the Assessment of Training form!Next: How to pass MRCOG Part 2 – Preparation