PACES 2020: Candidates and trainees, get ready for positive changes from September 2020

19 Aug 2019

The newly improved and updated PACES carousel will go live for the 2020/3 diet in September 2020.

The changes are the product of a 12 month review of the examination to ensure that it remains fair, relevant and fit for purpose. They build on the current format but develop elements to make them more realistic for examiners and trainees. It now better reflects the new Internal Medicine stage 1 curriculum, implemented in August 2019, which is designed to produce doctors with the generic professional and clinical capabilities needed to manage patients presenting with a wide range of general medical symptoms and conditions and holistic decisions on progress will be made for high level capabilities in practice.

Dr Nicola Robinson, specialty registrar in respiratory and general internal medicine, SE Scotland and member of the clinical examining board, said: “It will allow additional skills testing by more examiners so is a better judge of each candidate and gives you more opportunities to display your ability. It feels more realistic than previous versions of the exam, and is reflective of what physicians do on a daily basis.

Dr Mike Jones, medical director for training & development for the Federation added: “These changes reflect much of the ambition of the new Internal Medicine training programme in promoting capability in practice that is relevant to the everyday experience of the physician. Success in the exam will demonstrate that trainee physicians have acquired the necessary experience and skills to provide a very solid basis for expert patient care.”  

Dr Towhid Imam, specialty registrar in geriatric and general internal medicine, London and member of the clinical examining board, also said: “I have had a unique opportunity to contribute to how the exam is shaped and improved as well as observe and feedback on the new format and advise on the scenarios used. The changes are more reflective of clinical practice, allowing candidates to demonstrate their clinical skills.

MRCP(UK) will be providing a comprehensive range of resources for candidates and examiners to ensure that they are prepared for the new format of PACES. These will include informative videos of the new encounters, an examiner webinar, written guidance and attendance at events and training days.

For more details on the changes and to see the new carousel visit the PACES 2020 page.