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Non-urgent advice: What is the RCA

The RCA (clinical skills assessment) is one of the three components of the MRCGP qualification – necessary to complete GP training in the UK. It aims to test various aspects of General Practice through the form of clinical stations with simulated patients.

Non-urgent advice: Aim of the CSA

“Test a doctors ability to gather information and apply learned understanding of disease processes and person-centred care appropriately in standardised context, make evidence-based decisions, and communicate effectively with patients and colleagues.”

Non-urgent advice: Structure of the CSA

– On desk will be an iPAD with all the cases for that session as well as peak flow chart, prescriptions, med 3s, tuning fork and tongue depressors.
– Examination couch as well.
– Buzzer rings to mark start and end of consultation.
– 2 minutes between each case.
Break of 10-15 minutes after 7 cases, water coffee and tea. With all other candidates and cannot speak about exam
– At the end they will knock on your door and leave
– Could well include home visits and children simulators over 11
– Need to bring your own BNF, Stethoscope, Ophthalmoscope, Auroscope, Thermometer, Patella Hammer, Tape measure, PEFR meter and disposable mouth pieces (EU standard)

Non-urgent advice: Marking Schedule

– 13 cases
– Marked on the 3 domains of data gathering, clinical management and interpersonal skills.
– Each domain has an equal numerical score
– Marked as clear pass ( 3), pass ( 2), fail (1) and clear fail (0)
– Total 9 for each case- 117 overall
– Examiner  also marks whole case as pass, fail or borderline
– For borderline cases score is added and averaged
– Based on this they will integrate the scores and produce the pass mark – around 72 +/-2

Non-urgent advice: Top Tips

– Get a revision group together- minimum 4 people, start at least 6 months before the exam
– Have a consultation plan
– Videoing – do lots, watch with trainer.
– Practising cases with your trainer
– Courses: most CSA courses are pretty good.
– Practise from CSA books with have a marking schedule
– Be yourself and try to relax a little. Tell yourself “This is going to go well”. The consultation will flow better.