Choosing a course.   


DRCOG page The Stockport DRCOG Package Contact the Royal College of O&G


The information below is of historic interest only as all the residential courses have stopped running.

You can only find on-line courses.

Do a Google search or equivalent.


Choosing a course has become easier.

There use to be lots of courses.

At the time of writing (September 2011) there are only two.

One run by Susan Tuck in London.

And ours in Stockport.


Going on a course for the DRCOG is not essential, but most people find it helpful.

It is a tough exam.

Don't listen to senior colleagues who tell you it is a Mickey Mouse affair.

They are out of touch with the new format of the exam and don't know what they are talking about.

Get them to complete MCQ paper 1 and they might rapidly change their tune!

It used to be an easy exam.

You wrote a few essays and did a clinical exam in which you examined a pregnant abdomen.

Essays have to be about big subjects, so it is relatively easy to prepare for them.

But an exam based on MCQs and EMQs is going to range over a lot of topics and be a much tougher proposition.

Don't expect a course, even a five day one, to give you all the knowledge you need.

You need to do a lot  of reading as well!

I have put some advice about reading here.

An additional problem is the EMQs, with which most will be unfamiliar.

They get 30% of the marks.

I have put a sample question on the "Format of the Exam" page.

Ideally a course should give guidance and practice in the techniques for answering EMQs.

The Stockport course has incorporated EMQs into most of the lectures to ensure adequate practice.

There will also be sessions just for practising EMQs and MCQs.

Susan's course in London is made up entirely of BOFs, EMQs and MCQs.


Local courses will be known to your Postgraduate Tutor.  

It makes sense to find out about the course nearest to you and attend it

Discuss it with your Postgraduate Tutor, who will probably have a good idea of its quality.

Whichever course you choose, give your Postgraduate Tutor feedback so that they can advise others.


The College lists a number of courses. 

This is not a measure of excellence or any sort of College imprimatur.

The College doesn't asses the courses; it just runs an information service. 


Courses listed by the RCOG.


What you should be looking to get from the course.

There are major differences between the courses, so you need to do some homework to decide which best suits you.

The one run by Susan is well-established, has a good name and runs for 5 days, Monday - Friday.

While ours is only for 3 days, Friday - Sunday.

A major difference is that we send you a load of MCQs to do before the course.

The aim is that you should have covered the syllabus by the time of the course.

The course mainly consists of lectures on key topics: paediatrics, genetics, contraception etc.

Most of these have practice EMQs and MCQs incorporated.

Susan's course has no lectures, just BOFs, EMQs & MCQs.

I don't think they send out pre-course materials, but check; this may have changed since I last looked.

If you hate lectures, go to Susan's course!

If you feel that lectures are necessary to ensure that you have enough facts, come to Stockport.

The bottom line is that you need to look carefully at each course's programme, not just its location and duration.


Try to go on a family planning course.

The College expects a level of knowledge comparable to those taking the Diploma in Family Planning, now the DFSRH.

It is a big topic and is best learned on a specific course.

The feedback I get is that family planning courses are excellent.

Click here for the Diploma in Family Planning, now the "Diploma of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare".


Tom McFarlane.


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