My name is Ahmed AbdelwahabSaad. I
am currently working as a Lecturer of ophthalmology, ZagazigUniversity,
Egypt. I have passed the final FRCOphth exam which was held in Dundee
in the period 12-15/11/2014.
Although I have
already FRCSEd and FRCSG since 2012, I decided to take the RCOphth
exam to support my CESR (article 14) application to get a permanent
consultant post in UK. With the help of Allah, I have passed all parts
of the exam (Part 1, Refraction and part 2) in single attempt. I only
started this process 8 months ago.
I would like to share
my experience stressing on the difference that distinguishesRCOphth
exams making it currently the only qualification considered towards
the CCT or CESR in UK.
RCOphth exams are
based on the OST (ophthalmic specialty training in UK). It is very
difficult to pass the exam specially its final parts without working
before in UK. I have spent a year in James Cook hospital in
Middlesbrough as a specialty doctor. I think this was very important
to get through this exam.
Part 1 (May 2014,
This exam is composed
of 2 parts; the first part is MCQ on basic sciences and optics. It was
more or less similar to ICO,Edinburgh& Glasgow part 1exams.The other
part is the 12 CRQ questions in optics (including drawings) and in
investigations (FFA, ERG, CT…) and this part needs some clinical
certificate (April 2014, Birmingham)
12 stations (2
cycloplegicretinoscopy, 4 Non cycloplegicretinoscopy, 1 focimetry, 1
cyl refining, 1 binocular balancing, 1 trial frame/VA, 1 near add, 1
subjective sphere refine).
This exam is
different from Edinburgh part b refraction station which you get only
on patient to do everything on.
Part 2 written
exam (September 2014, London)
180 MCQs divided in
to 2 sessions each 2 hours.
Only those who passed
the written exam were legible to sit for oral/clinical exam 8 weeks
oral/clinical exam (November 2014, Dundee)
Ophthalmic investigations and data interpretation:
Picture of dacroscintigraphy. Questions about name, technique,
CT dacrocystography.Questions about findings.Work up of watering eye.
DD of filling defect in the lacrimal sac.. Questions about lacrimal
CT orbit showing tumor extending from lacrimal fossa to nose.
Patient management one
Case history of asthmatic child with itchy watering eyes DD VKH.
Questions about c/p. , side effects& treatment. Questions about
cyclosporine &tacrolimus in details
Patient management two
Case history about narrow pupil with phaco(with management).
Picture of PXS. Questions on intraoperativeZonulolysis(signs &
management in details).
Attitude, ethics and responsibility.
Questions on conflict of interest. (2 case problems about a new drug
produced by a company for which you are a consultant... the other
about new IOL to be introduced to the hospital.
Levels of scientific evidence.
Scenario: you are in the interview panel of a new fellow post you know
one of the candidates has psychiatric disorder but he didn’t declare
in his application. (Discussion about confidentiality).
Research,AuditScreening in details.
Role of ophthalmologists in diabetic retinopathy screening program.
Eye retrieval. Protocol, consent rules, precautions.
skills (Held on the Viva day
but counted with the clinical).
was told by his optician that he has macular hole… OCT small hole
200um VA 6/9 no reading… Worried about operation, posturing… has to
fly to Copenhagen in 8 weeks. The actor was very friendly. Discussed
with him the no urgency of his problem. All details of vitrectomy and
posturing. Gas and flying restriction. Some suggested Ocriplasmin as
Patient happy at the
Case 1: KCN
Case 2: Tremulous
Case 1: ACG
(bilateral PI and pseudophakia)
Case 2: Bilateral
pseudophakia +GFS + cupped disc.
Case 3: Ptosis +
Blepharospasm (detailed questions about Botox).
Case 1: Dry AMD
(questions about AREDS)
Case 2: Vitreous
wick. With inferior chorioretinal scar (break!?).
Case 3: Buckle +
Case 1: TED
syndrome type 1(old man).
Case 1: RAPD + Facial
palsy + pale disc.
Case 2: Left Inferior
quadrantanopia (where is the lesion).
Case 3: Left INO with
mild left abducent palsy (fasicular not nuclear ie not One and half
For any colleague
preparing for exams, I am ready to help.
Ahmed Abdelwahab Ali Saad
FICO, FRCSG, FRCSEd,MD,FRCOphth.
Lecturer of ophthalmology, Zagazig University, Egypt.