Diploma in Geriatric Medicine

The Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM) examination is designed to give recognition of competence in the provision of care of older people.

In offering doctors the opportunity to review and consider all aspects of care, the DGM is aimed at any medical practitioner in the UK whose clinical practice brings them into contact with older people. This may include:

  • GPs
  • old-age psychiatrists
  • trainees in general (internal) medicine
  • doctors intending to pursue specialist training in geriatric medicine.


The minimum eligibility requirement for the DGM written examination is 2 years’ post-qualifying experience prior to the date of the written examination, or candidates who have had 4 months’ experience in a geriatrics post in a hospital or in another post (eg as a GP) in which they see a lot of geriatric patients.

If you are an overseas doctor who fulfils our entry requirements you are welcome to sit the examination. However, you should bear in mind that the examination will be held only in the UK and there will be questions related to health and social systems for older people in the UK, and to UK legislation relating to older people.

Candidates must pass the written examination before they sit the clinical examination. They have 2 years to pass the clinical examination and if they fail to do so they should sit the written examination again.

Number of attempts

Candidates will be permitted a maximum of six attempts at the DGM examination. After six failed attempts, a candidate will be required to undertake additional educational experience for each resit and submit evidence of this. This evidence will need to be supported by a candidate’s educational supervisor, and the training programme director or equivalent.

Please note that this evidence will need to be presented on headed paper and need to be sent from the work email address of either of the educational supervisors to have signed the form. In determining whether a candidate has sufficiently satisfied the requirements to enable them to undertake a further attempt, the decision of the Royal College of Physicians of London will be final.

For more information, you can download the DGM additional attempt FAQs and form, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

DGM calendar and fees

Please be aware there are limited spaces for the Part 2 clinical examination so you should get your application in as early as possible to ensure you get a place. You are advised to keep all dates of the clinical examinations free as no alterations can be made once you have been allocated a centre. Please also bear in mind that travel to provincial centres may also be necessary.

Changes to Part 1 written examinations

From 2019 there will be a single opportunity to sit the Part 1 written examination each year. This reduction will help to ensure the quality of the written papers in the future, as questions are reused less.

If you intend to sit the Part 1 written examination in 2019 you must apply at the end of 2018 or wait a year for the next opportunity.

The clinical examination will remain at two diets each year.

2018 dates – Part 1 written examination

Diet: 2018/1
Application period: 18 December 2017 – 5 January 2018
Written examination fee: £231
Written examination date: 6 February 2018 
Results release date: 6 March 2018

Diet: 2018/2
Application period: 25 June 2018 – 13 July 2018
Written examination fee: £231
Written examination date: 14 August 2018
Results release date: 11 September 2018

2018 dates – Part 2 clinical examination

Candidates for the DGM Part 2 clinical examination must have previously passed the DGM written examination at an applicable sitting (please see the examination regulations at the bottom of the page for guidance).

Diet: 2018/1
Application period: 12 March 2018 – 3 April 2018
Clinical examination fee: £339
Clinical examination date: 15–16 May 2018 
Results release date: 13 June 2018

Diet: 2018/2
Application period: 28 August 2018 – 17 September 2018
Clinical examination fee: £339
Clinical examination date: 6–7 November 2018 
Results release date: 5 December 2018

The DGM Part 2 clinical examinations for Diet 2018/2 will take place in Cardiff and Bournemouth.

How to apply

You can download the application form for 2017 at the bottom of the page along with the examination regulations and syllabus.

Candidates paying by credit or debit card can send their completed application forms to dgm@rcplondon.ac.uk. Candidates using alternative methods of payment should print their forms and send them to the address below:

DGM Examination
Exams Candidate Office
Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4LE

Examination results can be viewed via the DGM examination results page.


Please clearly mark any correspondence ‘DGM’.

Changes to the DGM clinical exam in 2015

The Royal College of Physicians introduced changes to the clinical component of the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine in November 2015. These are outlined in a guidance document for candidates which is available below.


  • Candidates are not required to complete any documentation in order to receive their diploma. However, candidates are advised that they should inform the RCP of any changes in personal details to avoid loss or delay of the item.
  • Diplomas are automatically issued within 6 weeks after result release although timescales may vary.
  • Candidates who require a replacement diploma are advised to submit a request to the email address below. A £35 charge will apply, unless the individual is a fellow of any of the three royal colleges, in which case no charge will apply. A replacement diploma should be issued within 2 weeks of the fee being processed.
  • If you have any queries please contact diplomas.queries@mrcpuk.org.
  • Candidates should receive a reply within 3 working days of receipt.
  • Please note diplomas will be retained by the RCP for 1 year from the date of issue, after which time they will be destroyed. Every effort will be made to contact candidates should their diploma be returned undelivered to the RCP, however, candidates are advised to contact the RCP if they are not in receipt of their diploma within 1 year of passing the DGM exam.
  • Any requests received for a re-print after 1 year will incur a charge of £35.

DGM clinical marksheets

To help you understand how the DGM clinical exam is marked, sample marksheets are available to download at the bottom of the page.

MSc in gerontology

If you hold a Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (awarded since 2003) you automatically qualify for one-third of the course credits required for the MSc in gerontology at King’s College London (KCL) through our unique relationship with the Institute of Gerontology at KCL. The programme has been described as ‘the premier gerontology master's degree … the gold standard to which others aspire’ by Professor Ian Philp, national director for older people’s services and neurological conditions.

Please email sshm@kcl.ac.uk for further details of the MSc programme at King’s College London.

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