How to prepare for the DRCOG examination. Rakesh Modi .


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Rakesh Modi won the DRCOG prize in April 2015.

He has been kind enough to describe how he prepared.

Tom McFarlane.


Advice from Rakesh.

I decided to sit the DRCOG because I wanted to gain knowledge and confidence across a broad range of obstetric and gynaecological issues for general practice, of which, if left purely to clinical experience, I felt I may have had a patchy and shallow understanding. I first read online for advice on how to prepare including Tom McFarlane’s notes and multiple forums a few months before the exam. I then planned to start revising about 4-6 weeks before the exam and up to that point I would write down all the conditions that I didn’t feel confident with and find out where to get the guidelines from. I would just innately know this, note things mentioned in forums and recognise issues during my O&G job.

When it got to my revision period, I read and tried to understand each of these guidelines, in roughly priority order, in detail and looking up things I didn’t understand. I would then do a few practice questions from random topics here and there just as a way of randomly checking for holes in my knowledge. As I approached the exam, I had fewer guidelines to read and had more time for questions. Time being short, as I was also preparing for the MRCGP AKT scheduled two weeks later, I only managed 100-200 questions (mainly on-examination) but I am personally not the kind of person who is satisfied from question-based revision and I never seem to pick up much other than comfort for the style of questions and spotting missed topics. Additionally, I didn’t feel that these questions were all that useful and some answers were contentious but they did pick up on relevant topics. This ended up working well for me as most of the actual exam questions were on fine-print in the guidelines and a bit of judgement and the practice questions were only a vague proximity of the exam. It also left me with a more complete sense of knowledge for my further practice.

For reference, if I didn’t understand something, I used reliable websites and books (e-medicine for pathophysiology, ten teachers for basic obstetrics, Lissauer’s textbook for paediatrics) and having done the DCH and a paediatric job was very useful for the few neonatal questions. Looking up things online is so quick on your phone while you’re at work, it can be done very efficiently.

I’m sure this won’t work for everyone’s working style but I guess the key is genuine learning and understanding; for me that means reading and understanding and by doing the above I was able to prepare for two exams in a relatively short amount of time. Everyone probably needs to find a style of their own but it probably should centre around knowing the guidelines for this exam.

Rakesh Modi


September 2015

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