Factors predicting success in the Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) examination: a summary for OMFS

D. S.G. Scrimgeour*, J. Cleland, A. J. Lee, P. A. Brennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


The Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS, parts A and B) is a mandatory examination for entry into higher surgical training in the UK. We investigated which factors predict success in both the written (Part A) and clinical (Part B) parts of the examination, and provide a summary for oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMFS). All UK graduates who attempted both parts between 2007 and 2016 were included. There was a positive correlation between the scores in parts A and B (r = 0.41, p < 0.01). For Part A, men (odds ratio (OR) 2.78; 95% CI 1.83 to 4.19), white candidates (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.52 to 1.89), and younger graduates (under 29 years of age), were more likely to pass (OR 2.60; 95% CI 1.81 to 3.63). Foundation year one (FY1) doctors had higher pass rates than all other grades (e.g. core surgical trainee 2 vs. FY1 OR 0.50; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.77). The number of attempts at Part A and the final score, as well as ethnicity and stage of training, were independent predictors of success in Part B. Candidates who did well in Part A were more likely to do well in Part B. Several independent predictors of success were identified, but only the stage of training and ethnicity were common predictors in both parts. Higher scores obtained by younger candidates might be relevant to OMFS trainees who take Part A after studying medicine as a second degree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-570
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date5 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2018



  • MRCS
  • OMFS
  • Postgraduate exams
  • Predictors
  • Surgery
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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