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We’re educating physicians and supporting them to fulfil their potential. Here are some highlights of our work in 2022.

As pandemic restrictions were lifted, many of our education activities resumed in person, with physicians enjoying the chance to get together, network and receive peer support. We also offered a wealth of online learning opportunities, including webinars, podcasts and revision aids. For trainee doctors waiting to sit exams, we worked hard to expand the number of slots offered for PACES (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills).

Our work in numbers

Our key achievements

Assessment and exams

By expanding the use of our state-of-the-art exam suite at RCP at The Spine in Liverpool and recruiting additional centres, we increased our capacity by more than 20% to offer 2,340 exam slots and clear the waiting list of UK candidates. International capacity also increased, with existing centres able to restart as pandemic restrictions eased and new centres opened.

We continued to run the Physician Associate (PA) National Certification and Recertification examinations. Over 900 PAs passed in 2022 and were eligible to join or remain on the Managed Voluntary Register.

Through our work with the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians, online delivery of the MRCP(UK) written exams in the UK became business as usual and had positive feedback from candidates.

Supporting physicians throughout their careers

We provided key CPD opportunities for clinicians through a stimulating conferences and events programme. Medicine 2022 was our first hybrid annual conference; more than 1,400 delegates enjoyed 30 hours of content delivered by over 100 expert speakers. Meanwhile Med+ provided essential clinical updates and included a trainee focus. RCP Player – our highly rated streaming service – hosted over 20 webinars and led to 1,500 new member sign-ups.

We were delighted to return to hosting our popular ‘Update in medicine’ conferences in person for the first time since the pandemic. We held six in 2022, welcoming 1,200 delegates.

Our new year-long Six-step course for the new consultant programme got off to a flying start, over 2,000 learners attended our workshops and almost 300 enrolled on our master’s-level courses and longer programmes. Our popular Medicine podcasts were downloaded over 225,000 times.

We delivered a wealth of initiatives for physicians at different career stages, including our prestigious Turner-Warwick lectureships for trainees, a ‘Call the medical registrar’ conference and RCP Launchpad – a member-only online resource for new consultants and SAS (specialty and associate specialist) doctors. And almost 1,300 registered delegates enjoyed our Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) virtual annual conference in December.

Curriculum development

We continued to work with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) to develop multidisciplinary Clinician Researcher Credentials. We launched two PGCert programmes (with the universities of Exeter and Newcastle) and selected three universities to develop MRes extension pathways.

In collaboration with the General Medical Council (GMC), we published the draft physician associate curriculum in September, providing a standardised framework to ensure high-quality education for physician associate students.

Our Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (designed for non-geriatricians) is now open to non-medical advanced clinical practitioners.

Through our work with Federation, all the group 1 specialty and stroke medicine subspecialty curricula were approved by the GMC and implemented from August 2022.

Supporting recruitment of doctors

Our flexible portfolio training (FPT) pilot project – which addressed recruitment, retention and wellbeing challenges in medical specialties that contribute to the ‘acute take’ – has now been transferred to Health Education England (HEE) for embedding as business as usual via their regional recruitment teams. This marked the culmination of a successful 4-year project involving clinical fellows and wider teams to design, pilot and improve this targeted innovation in training pathway. The pilot received a positive external evaluation from Newcastle University. HEE now intends to replicate this flexible model in other contexts.

Global work

We supported 130 international medical graduates applying to work and train in the NHS and delivered 28 educational events and conferences for RCP members outside of the UK, attracting a total audience of over 6,000.

The Federation opened five new international MRCP(UK) PACES centres, launching in Jamaica and Jordan for the first time, with additional centres in India and Pakistan. In addition, the network supporting trainees in Malaysia was expanded. We worked with partners to launch two new internal medicine stage 1 programmes at hospitals in Kerala, India.

Advanced talks took place with European Union of Medical Specialists Sections in Geriatric Medicine and Rheumatology with a plan to launch two new pilot examinations for European doctors from 2024.