Acute Medicine SCE – a closer look

  • May 10, 2022
 

Acute medicine SCE is the higher postgraduate qualification delivered by the Royal College of Physicians as a specialist qualification for acute medicine doctors.

It is one of 11 SCEs offered by the Royal College and offers physicians a postgraduate qualification which demonstrates to prospective employers the achievement of a standard equivalent to UK specialist doctors. 

Here we take a closer look at the MRCP (UK) Acute Medicine Specialty Certificate Examination for doctors who have chosen to specialise in acute medicine. We cover the content of the exam, as well as fees and the eligibility criteria, all summarised below along with a broad look at the following topics: 

Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you're looking for. 

MRCP (UK) Acute Medicine SCE 

The acute medicine specialty certificate exams are administered as a compulsory component of assessment for Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in acute medicine for all UK trainees.  

The purpose of an SCE is to: 

  • ensure that certified specialists have sufficient knowledge of their specialty to practice safely and competently as consultants 
  • complement workplace-based assessments 
  • provide a rigorous national assessment to establish public confidence 
  • offer a challenge similar to sub-specialty certification examination in North America 

SCE as Part of Training in Acute Medicine 

Since the MRCP(UK) exams are taken during the Internal Medicine Training years (ST1-ST3), the acute medicine SCE allows physicians to demonstrate that they are able to practice independently at a consultant level. 

The SCE has no official entry requirements (both for UK and overseas candidates); however, UK trainees would normally take the SCE in their penultimate year of higher specialty training (ST6). UK trainees should have made at least one attempt by the time of their penultimate year assessment. 

For in-depth guide to the MRCP exams, see our IMG Resources library here

Exam Structure 

The SCE assesses candidates on a wide range of common and important disorders, as set out in the syllabus of the curriculum. This should be taken as an indication of the likely number of questions – the actual number may vary: 

Topic 

Number of questions 

Cancer and palliative care and haematology 

10 

Cardiovascular medicine 

20 

Clinical pharmacology and poisoning 

10 

Critical care medicine 

10 

Diabetes and endocrine medicine 

14 

Gastroenterology and hepatology 

20 

Infectious diseases  

14 

Medicine in the elderly 

18 

Musculoskeletal system 

12 

Neurology and ophthalmology 

20 

Renal medicine 

10 

Respiratory medicine 

20 

Other* 

22 

Total 

200 

*Other: Allergy; Clinical genetics; Dermatology; Immunology; Patient safety and risk management; Psychiatry; Public health and health promotion 

The questions in each category are distributed across both papers. 

All SCEs are computer-based and are administered by Pearson VUE at a test centre in the UK or internationally. 

Acute Medicine SCE Applications 

SCEs are held once a year and applications are made online through My MRCP(UK) account, within the Upcoming Exams section of the Royal College website.  

The application process is as follows: 

  1. Register online through My MRCP(UK) (candidates have the opportunity at this point to register any special arrangements) 
  2. Request a preferred test country and city 
  3. Pay applicable examination fee 
  4. Application is confirmed via an automatically generated email 
  5. Receive test centre confirmation email from Pearson VUE within four weeks of the examination date. 

The Royal College of Physicians has created a helpful video guide on SCE applications which you can watch here

Cost 

The cost of the SCE exams are as follows: 

  • UK centres: £665 
  • International centres: £833 

Exam Centres 

UK Centres 

Candidates who choose to sit the acute medicine SCE in the UK must contact Pearson VUE to book their test. There are up to 137 test centres throughout the UK for each SCE, and the Royal College of Physicians advise that candidates should book their exam as early as possible to secure their preferred test centre, as bookings operate on a first come first served basis. 

International Centres 

Candidates are given a choice of regions and are then asked to nominate a particular city in that region as their desired test location. The Royal College of Physicians will pass this request to Pearson VUE once the application period has closed, and Pearson VUE will confirm final test centre details to candidates via email at least three weeks before the date of the examination. If the exam is not available in a requested location, candidates will be offered a choice of the nearest available test centres. 

Please note, international candidates should not book their own test centre with Pearson VUE - attempting to do so may delay a candidate's application. 

The full list of international SCE test centres can be found here

Preparation and Resources for the Acute Medicine SCE 

It can be difficult for IMGs to know where to start with their preparation and revision. This list should provide a good starting point for any international acute medicine doctors preparing to sit the SCE: 

Curriculum - Applicants are tested on a range of common and important disorders in Acute Medicine as set out in the Joint Royal Colleges’ Curriculum for Acute Medicine Specialist Training. We recommend getting to know the curriculum as early as possible and using it as a blueprint for your study.  

Guidelines - These tools are helpful for supplementing your knowledge: 

Textbooks 

Journals 

Sample questions: It is a good idea to regularly assess your knowledge and progress using example questions from the current exam syllabus. You can find these here

For an overview of how to prepare for exams, including advice on study groups, online community support, best use of online resources & Royal College materials and courses, check out our blog: IMG Connects Top Tips for exam preparation. 

I’ve passed! What’s next? 

First of all, congratulations - this is a massive achievement! With your MRCP(UK) and acute medicine SCE in hand, you can apply for a full GMC registration with a license to practice. Once the GMC has approved your application, you can work as a doctor in the UK. Great stuff!  

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with an IMG medicine recruitment specialist to discuss GMC registration, acute medicine positions in the NHS, including typical NHS salaries, the most suitable UK locations and hospitals for you, and relocation. 


To receive the latest news and updates, including the Royal Colleges, GMC registration and the NHS, follow us on social media and join the conversation. 

            

 

Relevant Jobs

84,559 - 114,003

An outstanding opportunity for experienced Consultant in Acute Medicine to join an NHS Trust that is committed to providing consultants with CESR support. This Trust is one of the largest employers in the region and their members and staff are dedicated professionals whose work is varied, challenging and makes a real difference to people’s health and well-being.

The post is suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.

WHAT IS THE NHS TRUST LIKE? 

The Trust is one of the largest organisations in the country and they employ over 6,000 dedicated staff with an annual turnover of £380 million who provides service to 525,000 people that live within the area. Their services are mainly provided from two district general hospitals, both have Emergency Departments and provide care 24 hours a day. They offer a comprehensive range of surgical, medical and maternity services supported by a full range of diagnostic and therapy services.

The role of the NHS Trust is to provide the best possible healthcare service to patients, who come first in everything the organisation does. Safe patient care is the Trust's highest priority. They will provide high quality clinical services that achieve and demonstrate optimum clinical outcomes and provide an excellent care experience for patients. The employees will be valued and respected. They will be involved in decisions about the services they provide and offered the training and development that they need to fulfill their roles.

They will operate efficiently and effectively, diagnosing and treating patients in timely fashion and expediting their return to health. They will use their resources efficiently and effectively for the benefit of their patients and their care to ensure our services are clinically, operationally, and financially sustainable.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN THE REGION?

The region has a natural beauty. Sussex has some fantastic natural features such as the Seven Sisters National Park, and many areas of outstanding natural beauty that include the medieval heathland and forests of the High Weald. It also has beaches and harbours where people can go to during their dayoffs.

Besides its natural beauty, there's a rich array of accommodation options, ranging from the five star Grand Hotel on Eastbourne seafront to quaint B&Bs set amid beautiful Sussex countryside. East Sussex offers a rich array of culture, with art galleries such as the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne and an array of theatre and entertainment venues such as the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill, Congress and Deveonshire Park Theatres in Eastbourne and the White Rock Theatre in Hastings.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU?

The combination of clinical practice and first-class academic connections means that medical professionals have a wide range of opportunities to develop their careers and achieve their aspirations. You will have access to leadership, teaching, educational and research opportunities for Continued Professional Develop (CPD).

If you are a new consultant you will receive mentoring and support from medical leads as well as access to a large peer group of enthusiastic and high-caliber Consultants.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
87,534 - 116,313

An excellent opportunity for an experienced medicine specialists with an interest in to join a Scottish NHS Trust that serves half a million people in the North of Scotland. The post if suitable for international doctors with good experience in internal medicine and with a specialty interest in one of the major medical sub-specialties. The post can be shaped around an individual and their passions, and experience, though the role will have strong grounding in general medicine. 

Applications are welcomed from overseas applicants, with the trust able to offer some support and guidance with CESR applications where possible. 

WHAT IS THE NHS BOARD LIKE? 

The NHS Board came into operation in 1 April 2004. The NHS Board oversees the taking-forward of Scotland's national health agenda, tailored to the needs of the local population of half-a-million people spread over 3,000 square miles of city, town, village and rural communities. The Trust is able to achieve this by being a high-level board of governance and having a strategic leadership. The NHS Board pride themselves on their ability to provide essential emergency and acute as well as elective services locally, advocating for their patients to be cared for close to home. They have developed strong professional links with their GP practices, community hospitals, social work teams and local services to provide comprehensive and integrated pathways of care.

WHAT IS THE MEDICINE DIVISION LIKE? 

The Department is reconfigured and modernised so that the patients are provided with high quality clinical care from pre-hospital and community based care to tertiary centre and home. This is being achieved in partnership with the Emergency Department team with support from the Hospital Management Team, with whom we have an excellent working relationship. The department is committed to developing an integrated and equitable medical service for patient care across the Trust's hospitals. This strategy will provide significant career development in a wide range of medical specialties and align to service delivery models across Grampian with increased opportunities for research, education and clinical management for those with an interest in these areas.  

The post holders will join a well-established multi-disciplinary team and the successful candidates will be supported working in a modern, friendly and well equipped hospital.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN NORTH SCOTLAND FOR ACUTE & GENERAL MEDICINE CONSULTANTS? 

North Scotland offers a wild landscape unlike anything you may have experienced before. From the outer reaches of the Scottish Islands and fishing villages along the coastline, to the natural wilderness of the Highlands inland, there is so much to see, do and explore. It is a great environment especially for candidates that love the outdoors. The area is safe, friendly and welcoming. It also has a fantastic local schools available. Furthermore, the local area is famed for it's microclimate of good weather, sun, and warm summers.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU AT THE NHS BOARD?

With an extremely active education / teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to be involved in teaching, educational duties, research and CPD. Furthermore, those with sub-specialty interests will be encouraged to develop the specialty, strengthen the links with the nearby large specialist centre, and to grow the care network of that specialty across the region. There is particular opportunity to do this in Nephrology, Respiratory and Neurology and Stroke Medicine. Participation in research and educational activities will always be encouraged.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute & General Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
87,534 - 116,313

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Consultant Acute & General Medicine to join an NHS Trust that serves half a million people. The post if suitable for overseas Acute & General Medicine consultants, including candidates who are pursuing CESR. Specialists in Acute & General Medicine, holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 

WHAT IS THE NHS BOARD LIKE? 
The NHS Board came into operation in 1 April 2004.

The NHS Board oversees the taking-forward of Scotland's national health agenda, tailored to the needs of the Grampian population of half-a-million people spread over 3,000 square miles of city, town, village and rural communities. The Trust is able to achieve this by being a high-level board of governance and having a strategic leadership.

The NHS Board pride themselves on their ability to provide essential emergency and acute as well as elective services locally, advocating for their patients to be cared for close to home. They have developed strong professional links with their GP practices, community hospitals, social work teams and local services to provide comprehensive and integrated pathways of care.

WHAT IS THE ACUTE & GENERAL MEDICINE TEAM LIKE? 
The Department is reconfigured and modernised so that the patients are provided with high quality clinical care from pre-hospital and community based care to tertiary centre and home. This is being achieved in partnership with the Emergency Department team with support from the Hospital Management Team, with whom we have an excellent working relationship.

The department is committed to developing an integrated and equitable medical service for patient care across the Trust's hospitals. This strategy will provide significant career development in a wide range of medical specialties and align to service delivery models across Grampian with increased opportunities for research, education and clinical management for those with an interest in these areas.  

The post holders will join a well-established multi-disciplinary team and the successful candidates will be supported working in a modern, friendly and well equipped hospital.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN NORTH SCOTLAND FOR ACUTE & GENERAL MEDICINE CONSULTANTS? 
North Scotland offers a wild landscape unlike anything you may have experienced before. From the outer reaches of the Scottish Islands and fishing villages along the coastline, to the natural wilderness of the Highlands inland, there is so much to see, do and explore.

It is a great environment especially for candidates that love the outdoors. The area is safe, friendly and welcoming. It also has a fantastic local schools available.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU AT THE NHS BOARD?
With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, RCPsych exams, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. 

Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?
EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute & General Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute & General Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
84,559 - 114,003

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Consultant in Acute Medicine to join a Health Board in North Wales that promotes equality and diversity. If you love a challenge, have a passion to help others or simple fancy a fresh start, then this Health Board has all the ingredients. The post if suitable for overseas consultants, including candidates who are pursuing CESR. Specialists in Acute Medicine holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 

WHAT IS HEALTH BOARD LIKE? 

The Health Board is largest health organisation in Wales, that are developing an integrated health service which provides excellent care delivered in partnership with the public and other statutory and third sector organisations.

The Health Board have a budget of £1.3 billion and a workforce of over 17,000 staff. Providing primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services for the population of around 700,000 across of North Wales. They continuously develop their workforce so that it has the right skills and operates in a research-rich learning culture.

Besides their three main hospital sites, they are also responsible for community hospitals, health centres, clinics, mental health units, community teams, GP practices and other NHS services provided by dentists, opticians and pharmacists. They plan to improve the health of the population, with particular focus upon the most vulnerable in our society.

WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT & TEAM LIKE? 

Acute medicine in the hospital is changing. The department currently has 3 substantive acute physicians and 2 long-term locums, with subspecialty interests in Respiratory Medicine, Nephrology and Clinical Pharmacology. The acute medicine team is responsible for the medical intake 8am –5pm throughout the week, with support from the GIM rota in the evenings and at the weekends. There is a focus on ambulatory care with an ANP and clinical hub nurse in place to support.

Currently all acute admissions from primary care are received by the clinical hub nurse in hours and directed to either the AMU or ED (if likely to need the resus room). The majority of referrals come straight to AMU for assessment. The team is continuing to improve our care pathways for acute medical patients and further develop our services. The team is passionate about MDT working and work closely with their nursing and therapist colleagues.

Successful candidates will be responsible for providing senior leadership and management working alongside our trainees and other healthcare professionals. They will work between the ambulatory area, the trolley bay, and the short stay ward providing excellent clinical care for our acutely unwell patients. They will provide training and supervision for our staff and play a key role in this exciting service development.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN NORTH WALES? 

North Wales has a vast national park, purpose built mountain biking trails, a breath taking coastal path, soaring zip wire, food festivals and world class sport and adventure around every corner. The North Wales is equipped with sport and leisure centres that provide opportunities for a wide variety of sporting, fitness and recreational activities. Not only does it have lots of activities for you, it also has a wide selection of private housing is available, both traditional and modern in towns, villages and rural settings.

For doctors with family, the educational standards are consistently high in both the primary and secondary sectors. There are several well established independent schools within North Wales and the surrounding area that cater for both day pupils and boarders. The regional University with its excellent scholastic reputation has a thriving student community.

You can say goodbye to heavy inner city commuter traffic, and enjoy a breath-taking commute across North Wales.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU AT THIS HEALTH BOARD?

With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, exams, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. 

Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
84,559 - 114,003

An excellent opportunity for an experienced Acute Medicine Consultant to join an NHS Trust in the South West of England. The post if suitable for overseas doctors, including candidates who are pursuing CESR. Specialists in Acute Medicine, holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 

WHAT IS THIS UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST LIKE? 
The Trust is performing at a good level across their services and continuously provide huge opportunities and benefits to the way they deliver patient care. The Trust focuses on delivering excellent general hospital services. They provide service to approximately a population of 750,000 with the help of more than 9,000 staff members.

The hospitals have approximately 1100 beds in total, and provide a broad range of services including General Medicine, General Surgery, Neurology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology, as well as Gynaecology and Paediatrics.

The Trust achieved foundation status in 2005 and in October 2020, they created a new organisation by merging two of their hospitals with the goal to implement the establishment of emergency (RBH) and planned care sites (PGH).


WHAT IS THE ACUTE MEDICINE DEPARTMENT & TEAM LIKE? 
The Team consists of Patient Support Workers, HCAs, Staff Nurses, a team of Deputy Sisters, two experienced Ward Sisters and four Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) that are enthusiastic, hard working and always working closely together.

The Team has approximately 20 patients per ward round. The current rota is annualised with an eight week rolling pattern. There are two Acute Physicians running the AMU and acute take 0800-2030 with SDEC Consultant cover 0900-1700daily during the week. The weekend frequency is currently 1 in 8. SPA is organised flexibly. The AMU at Poole Hospital is a 30 bedded assessment and short stay unit for general medical and acute medical patients. It receives approximately 8000-9000 patients per year.

The post holder will lead and run the AEC Clinic, alongside the ANPs, during their allocated clinical sessions. The post holder will provide teaching and training to junior doctors, nurse practitioners and allied professions within acute medicine. The post holder will be working at both sites and will have access to a fully-equipped Consultant’s office which includes all the required information technology.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN THE SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND FOR ACUTE MEDICINE CONSULTANTS? 
The South West is a great place to live and work, with 7 miles of Blue Flag beaches, miles of coastline and the New Forest on its doorstep. It is excellent for families, and great countryside in which to enjoy sailing, water sports, walking and cycling.

The area is renowned as being one of the premier resorts in the country for coastal living due to its miles of unspoilt beaches, many recreational and leisure facilities offered by the surrounding countryside areas including the New Forest National Park.

Working as an Acute Medicine Consultant in the South West brings a range of exciting prospects. You will have the opportunity to work in one of the best health trusts in the UK, who will offer you the opportunity to constantly grow your medical and scientific knowledge and skills. In the South West of the UK you will have the opportunity to work in a wide range of settings, and as you progress through your career, you will have more opportunity to shape the way you work; you can develop research, work part time or full time and can combine your career with a wide range of other interests.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU?
With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.

  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?
EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT

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