The MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination) evaluates doctors trained outside of Canada that would like to practice in the country. The MCC (Medical Council of Canada) uses this exam to check their level of clinical competence, knowledge, and judgment in actual clinical scenarios. It also checks how they apply this knowledge in patient-centered care.
MCCQE is divided into two parts – MCCQE part 1 and MCCQE part 2. However, in this article, we’ll focus on MCCQE part 2, which, unlike MCCQE part 1, isn’t computer-based. It usually is taken after you pass the MCCQE 1. The last step to becoming a licensed practitioner is the MCCQE 2.
In MCCQE 2, you will be assessed by the examiner based on your actions in simulated clinical situations. They will check your knowledge, composure, and clinical judgment in the various relevant fields.
Scheduling and Application Process
MCCQE Part 2 exam occurs twice a year, in May and October. To write this exam, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- You must have passed the MCCQE Part I
- For foreigners, your medical degree must have been verified by the Canadian authorities.
- For Canadian graduates, your confirmation of graduation will be received directly from the Canadian faculties of medicine.
- You must have finished 12 months of postgraduate clinical medical training (PGT) or osteopathic postgraduate training. This should have been completed –
- On or before June 30 for the May exam of the same calendar year
- On or before December 31 for the October exam of the same calendar year
The requirements above imply that you must have finished your residential training before taking the exam, unlike MCCQE 1, which is done before the training.
Applying for MCCQE Part 2
If you meet all the requirements above, the next thing to do is start applying. Add your name to a pre-application list through your physiciansapply.ca account.
After this, you are invited to write the exam. The email sent to you tells you to choose three test centers. This is done in order of preference. The MCC will try as much as possible to assign you to your preferred test center. Hence, choose the most convenient centers for you.
Before the examination day, you will get an Entrance card, Candidate Confidentiality Agreement, and Code of Conduct form through an Exam Package in your physicansapply.ca account. Print the entrance card, complete the forms, and take them. Submit the forms in the exam hall.
You will be provided with two things when you get to the exam hall.
- Candidate Notebook
- Candidate Identifications Number
The notebook is used to jot all the important information about the station, like the patient, the problem presented, and perhaps your evaluation or thoughts on the situation. The Candidate ID will be used for identification and must be worn at all times during the exam.
What is the Exam Format?
The exam has an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) format in each station. The examiner evaluates the following:
- how you take the history.
- How much do you know about the physical examination?
- How do you use previous knowledge to manage a patient?
- How do you counsel a patient or family?
- How do you answer oral questions?
- Your interaction with physicians, and
- your knowledge of charts and test results.
Your composure and confidence will also be evaluated. When you are done with the station, you are expected to wait till you are instructed to leave.
The ID badge given to you at the beginning will indicate your first station. If your first station is #6, continue tostations#7, #8, #9, etc.
You will be presented with up to 10 clinical scenarios in the stations. You will have to complete 12 stations. However, 2 of these are wait stations that do not contribute to your final score.
There are two categories of stations in the MCCQE Part 2
- 14-minute stations
- 6-minute paired stations.
14- minute station
There are eight 14-minute stations. Seven of which will count towards your final score. The 8th station is a wait station. These stations will consist of encounters with “standardized participants” such as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. You will be evaluated and scored in almost all stations based on your interaction with the standardized participants.
Before you enter 7 of the stations, you will be allowed to read the instructions for 2 minutes. After two minutes, a signal will be given, and you enter the room. You will have 14 minutes inside the room—a warning signal at the 13-minute mark. After the final signal, you must leave the room and go to the next station based on your ID number.
6-minute paired stations
There are four stations under this, one of which is a wait station that will not count towards your final score. The first component of this part is the encounter component. In this, you will meet standardized participants and be scored based on your interaction with them. The examiner will be a physician or a highly trained non-physician.
The other component of these stations is the non-encounter component. It consists of a reading task or responding to one or more extended match questions. You may be asked to answer comprehensive match questions. Read the questions carefully before you answer. Do not fill in more than required in the question and wait until the official start signal before writing on the sheet. If you fail to do all these, the examiners will assume that you do not follow regulations. This will affect your score.
You will be given two minutes to read the instructions posted by the door before the encounter and non-encounter components. After two minutes, the signal will sound for you to enter the room. You will have six minutes in the room. A warning signal will ring at the five-minute mark, and a final signal will sound at the end of the station. After the last signal, you must leave the room and go to the next station. You will have two minutes to get to the next station and read its instructions. Pay attention to the verbs in the task – these will indicate what kind of actions you will need to perform in that station.
How Is MCCQE 2 Scored?
The MCC forms a committee that sets the baseline for passing the MCCQE 2. When the committee decides, they send their recommendations to the Central Examination Committee, which reviews it, after which the pass mark is agreed upon.
MCC will not show you your score. You will get an email indicating that you passed or failed.
Preparing for Your MCCQE Part 2
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