Clarification On UK GMC Recognition Of FRCS Edinburgh In Cardiothoracic Surgery — College Of Surgeons Academy Of Medicine Of Malaysia

The College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine of Malaysia maintains UK GMC recognises FRCS Edinburgh Cardiothoracic Surgery. CSAMM says while GMC recognition is important, the parallel pathway was formed to train specialists in Malaysia to serve the country.

The College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (CSAMM) refers to recent reports in CodeBlue concerning recognition of the FRCS Edinburgh in Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification by the United Kingdom General Medical Council (GMC).

The reports in CodeBlue suggest that the Cardiothoracic Parallel Pathway graduates do not have access to the UK Specialist Register with their qualification. This is incorrect.

The FRCS Edinburgh Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification is recognised by the GMC as a postgraduate qualification and gives eligibility to apply for specialist registration in the UK through the portfolio pathway.

This has been confirmed by the GMC to the Cardiothoracic Surgery Parallel Pathway graduates. CSAMM also notes that the GMC has also confirmed this to the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Ailsa Terry.

[Editor’s note: CodeBlue stands by our report titled, “UK Medical Council Denies Recognising FRCS Edinburgh Cardiothoracic Surgery Parallel Pathway Qualification For Specialist Registration”].

CSAMM would like to inform that specialists trained in Malaysia who would like to work in the UK have to apply for UK specialist registration through the portfolio pathway and demonstrate that they have the required knowledge, skills and experience to practice as a specialist in the UK.

The FRCS Edinburgh Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification on its own will not be sufficient to gain entry to the UK Specialist Register; candidates will also have to submit their logbook of operative experience, clinical rotations, supervisor reports, etc.

This is very similar to specialist registration in Malaysia by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). This is unlike specialists trained in the UK who successfully complete the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship exams in the UK and obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training in the UK.

These graduates have eligibility for automatic entry into the UK Specialist Register. This pathway is not available for specialists trained outside of the UK.

CSAMM strongly supports recognition of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Parallel Pathway by the MMC. The Cardiothoracic Surgery Parallel Pathway Curriculum is based on the UK Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum for Cardiothoracic Surgery, which is approved by the GMC.

It also follows the Malaysian National Postgraduate Medical Curriculum (NPMC) for Cardiothoracic Surgery and meets the Cardiothoracic Surgery Specialty Specific Standards of the MMC.

It is a six-year structured training programme with regular structured work-based assessments and Annual Reviews of Competence and Progression (ARCP). The exit examination is the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) Joint Specialty Fellowship (JSF) examination in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

This examination is of the same standard and a similar format to the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship examination in Cardiothoracic Surgery conducted in the UK by the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE) and approved by the GMC.

It is also the same and the only exit examination in Cardiothoracic Surgery used in Singapore and Hong Kong and fully recognised by both countries. The qualification awarded is the FRCS Edinburgh in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

This qualification was listed in the National Credentialing Committee (NCC)’s 2013 NSR “Recognised” postgraduate qualifications list.

CSAMM would also like to state that while recognition of parallel pathway qualifications by the GMC is important, the parallel pathway was set up to train doctors in Malaysia to become specialists to work in Malaysia and treat our patients in the country.

Of greater importance to recognition by the GMC is the standards and quality of specialist training.

We have full confidence that the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and of Glasgow are quality assuring the training of specialist Cardiothoracic and Urology surgeons in Malaysia to the highest standards equivalent to specialist training done in the UK.

This statement was issued by CSAMM president Dr Siow Sze Li.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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