General advice for the FRCS Trauma & Orthopaedics
Revision is extremely personal and depends on how you work. If you have/will have a busy job or home life then start earlier. You will need to put life on hold for a minimum of 6 months. It will be pretty stressful and friends & family will be neglected, they should be warned in advance.
Start planning when you are going to sit it early, it takes time to get references from the relevant consultants and training program director.
The FRCS Trauma and Orthopaedic examination costs quickly add up. It will be £1800 up front about 6 months before the written exam. You should also set aside around another £1500 for revision courses (1000 for courses, 500 for hotel rooms including exam hotel room). Giving a total of around £3500 to sit the exam (plus at least 6 months of stress / your life)!
How to Apply
Applications for the FRCS Trauma and Orthopaedics are through the JCIE.
Research and book the FRCS Trauma and Orthopaedics courses early. Some people will do more courses than others, this is a personal and financial decision for most people. More detailed course information here.
A study group made up of like-minded people is essential to help your through the FRCS Trauma and Orthopaedics. This is a useful method to motivate and drag each other along to do the work for the written exam and to help with revision for the viva. It helps with arranging clinical practice sessions at your hospitals, and sharing knowledge with each other.
Anecdotally 3 seems to be a good number. In general, it is easier to stick to people doing the exam in the same hospital for weekdays and sometimes all meet in a bigger group on the weekend at each others homes. Nearer to the exam it is commonplace to spend more time with the study group than with partners/children/friends (how despressing!).
Do as many revision MCQs as possible. By the exam you would ideally have done in the region of 5000-7000 practice questions. The following resources may be helpful.
- Orthobullets MCQ
- Postgraduate Orthopaedics
- Old UKITE exams
- The black book
- www.frcsortho.com is a fantastic resource of viva practice question
- Further advice and information on courses can be found here.
HEEoE Professional Support Unit (PSU) – https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/psu
The PSU are there to help and have lot’s of information and resources on the above website.
The PSU offers an exam workshop and a 1:1 sessions to support trainees with exams. https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/psu/support-available/exam-support
Workshops: Trainees can self refer to the exam workshops (run 4 times a year) if there is a pattern of failed attempts in two or more exams previously.
1:1 sessions: Trainees are eligible where there has been 2 or more attempts on the same exam, however where trainees demonstrate a trend of unsuccessful attempts on more than one exam, consideration may be given.
If you have struggled with exams then you could consider discussing this with your AES / TPD.