GP Stage 2 Exam Information, Tips & Banding

Advice & Insight From GP Stage 3 Specialists

​​Professional Dilemmas – 58 Items, 110 Minutes

Core Domains:

Professional integrity
· Open and honest with others; willing to admit own mistakes.
· Treats others with respect and dignity and knows where personal/professional boundaries lie.
· Able to balance ethical tensions in relation to demand, resources and expectations.
· Strives for quality and manages risk.
· Works proactively and is inquisitive in approach.
· Takes responsibility for self, others and the health of the wider population.
· Demonstrates a commitment to equality of care for all and strives to act in the patients’ best interests.
Coping with Pressure
· Understands and manages own emotions; understands the impact of these on decision making.
· Willing to admit when experiencing difficulties and seek assistance where needed.
· Readily employs tactics for managing own stress and pursues a healthy work/life balance.
· Maintains a professional demeanour; remains calm under pressure.
· Demonstrates self-awareness, understanding own limitations and how behaviour may affect others.
· Accepts and manages uncertainty and change; responding flexibly when required.
· Is resilient, managing criticism well.
· Able to take on multiple complex roles and effectively balance differing responsibilities and commitments.
· Capable of modifying behaviour to adapt to differing roles or skills required in the future.
Empathy and Sensitivity
· Employs a caring approach towards patients and colleagues.
· Capacity and motivation to view situations from the patient/colleague perspective.
· Demonstrates an understanding of others situation and circumstances.
· Takes a holistic approach to patient care and considers social, psychological and emotional factors as well as the wider healthcare system.
· Empowers patients through involvement in their own care.
· Acknowledges and explores the patient’s wants and needs.
· Takes a patient-centred approach, treating patients as individuals.
· Acts in an open and non-judgemental manner

Clinical Problem Solving – 96 Items, 75 Minutes

Core Topics

Cardiovascular                                             Musculoskeletal
 Dermatology/ENT/Eyes                              Paediatrics
Endocrinology/Metabolic                            Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Gastroenterology/Nutrition                        Psychiatry/Neurology 
Infectious disease/                                      Renal/Urology    
Haematology/Immunology/                       Reproductive 
Allergies/Genetics                                       Respiratory

Question Types

Emergency Management
Non-prescribing Management

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GPST Stage 2 Key Tips

​Timing – The Clinical Problem Solving Paper is the more time restricted of the two papers, and unfortunately finishing the Professional Dilemmas paper early does not permit any additional time for the latter paper. It is essential to manage your time effectively given that you have only 45 seconds/question (including reading time). Failing to finish the paper will significantly affect your score and chances of obtaining your preferred GP deanery. As such, implementing strict timed conditions throughout your MSRA preparation will ensure that you are accustomed to the time pressures of this examination.

O&G and Paediatrics – These two specialities consistently ‘over-represent’ in the MSRA examination, with year-on-year candidates reporting that 20-30% of their questions related to either O&G or Paediatrics. Contraception, vaccinations and milestones are particular favourites.

Finals Refresher – Most of the clinical content addressed in the MSRA is to a similar standard as that encountered during medical school finals. Instead of learning content afresh, re-review your cherished finals notes, and you’ll be surprised how much quicker you will re-learn the core content.

110% – The Multi-Speciality Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) is no longer merely a stepping stone to reach the GP Stage 3 Section Centre. A score in the top 10% of all applicants taking the MSRA will provide an automatic offer to any deanery of your choice, as a result of the new ‘Direct Pathway to Offers’. For those not obtaining direct entry, a strong MSRA score is essential in obtaining a place in one of the competitive GPST deaneries, with applicants ranked and offered places based on a combination of MSRA and GP Stage 3 Selection score. As such, all applicants should give 110% to this increasingly important examination.

If in doubt, guess – Neither question paper has any negative marking, and hence there is no penalty for incorrect answers.

GP Stage 2 Exam Information, Tips & Banding

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