Part 1

Part 1 aims and objectives

MRCP(UK) tests the acquisition of a representative sample of medical knowledge, skills and behaviour as specified in the UK Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training. The Part 1 Examination is the entry component to a sequence of assessments intended to match the progression of trainees undertaking the Core Medical Training programme in the UK, adding unique information and building on previous assessments. A broad range of topics is covered to ensure the level of knowledge is appropriate to physicians at the beginning of postgraduate training with a minimum of 12 months' experience in medical employment.

Knowledge as an essential base for the practice of clinical reasoning

Knowledge is vital as a basis for learning during postgraduate training, to develop understanding of disease processes and their treatment. Examinations drive learning and the acquisition of knowledge through revision is an important and useful discipline for junior doctors. Building on knowledge of basic medical science gained in undergraduate education, the purpose of the Part 1 Examination is to test knowledge and understanding of common and important disorders, as outlined in the UK curriculum, as well as clinical science. Knowledge and understanding of UK national guidelines is also required. As part of the rigorous question writing and peer review process, questions on clinical science are set in a clinical context to emphasise the practical importance of the knowledge being tested.

Success in the Part 1 Examination indicates that the trainee has not only retained the knowledge acquired during undergraduate training, but that his/her knowledge of medicine has expanded and kept pace with developments that have occurred since graduation, and continues to provide an appropriate basis for clinical decision making. Part 1 is a valuable milestone during training, and helps to prepare trainees for the more challenging Part 2 Written and Clinical Examinations.