Foreword by Professor Derek Bell
I am delighted
to provide a foreword for The Pocketbook for PACES.
Medical professional training
and clinical practice, in the UK and internationally, is changing rapidly. As such all clinically based medical examinations
must keep abreast of these changes if we are to ensure the highest quality of care is provided for all patients.
The MRCP(UK) PACES examination is internationally recognized and has evolved to ensure that clinical practice
is assessed in a robust and reproducible manner wherever the candidate takes this examination. Candidates sitting this examination
must be competent in all clinical scenarios and in the related clinical domains.
textbook is clearly written and provides candidates with a robust framework to support their preparation for this important
No individual textbook will provide a candidate with all the information
and advice to prepare for PACES but this book offers the potential candidate a strong foundation as they hone their clinical
I would like to personally recommend this pocketbook and wish all readers revising for PACES every success.
Professor Derek Bell BSc MB ChB MD FRCP
of Acute Medicine
Imperial College London
Foreword by Dr. Gerald Coakley
It is a great honour and pleasure to write a foreword for The Pocketbook for PACES.
Elegantly produced with a coherent structure followed consistently throughout the book, it is very clearly
focused on the current format and content of the PACES examination, as well as having a chapter aimed at the MRCPI.
I am impressed by the level of relevant detail concerning the conditions that commonly feature in the exam,
as well as useful examination and presentation techniques.
The sections on communication
and history are full of helpful information, and provide a logical starting point in preparing for stations 2 and 4, for which
I know many candidates find it challenging to revise.
By reading the book, I have learned a lot about
the modern management of conditions outside my own specialty, and even one or two new things about my own.
The distinguished authors have clearly put a great deal of thought into their chapters, informed by long experience
in teaching MRCP candidates.
I am an admirer of PACES, believing that unlike many other medical
examinations, it helps to make the candidate a better doctor. The examination marks a transition from the novice towards the
expert diagnostician. As undergraduates, we are taught the time-honoured ritual of taking a full history, and examining every
system in the hope of coming to the correct diagnosis.
Experts do not work like this, but rather generate
hypotheses as they interrogate the patient, and examine and investigate to rule out differentials to come to the correct diagnosis.
Experts make the correct diagnosis more rapidly and with sparser information than novices.
The PACES examination helps to assess whether candidates are starting to make this transition, while also assessing
communication and professional skills. The examination helps to sort trainable young physicians from ‘book doctors’
who know 10 causes of renal tubular acidosis and the path of the seventh cranial nerve, but cannot suggest a sensible approach
to help Mrs Jones with her painful erythema nodosum or peripheral oedema.
examination, in essence, assesses whether candidates have mastered the skill of integrating years of theoretical learning
with good history-taking and examination skills, to come up with an appropriate differential including the correct diagnosis
for the patient in front of them, and communicate that effectively.
I believe that
the structure of The Pocketbook for PACES will help candidates in making this transition from novice to proto-expert,
making them both more likely to pass the exam, and also better physicians.
Dr Gerald Coakley PhD FRCP
Director of Medical Education
London Healthcare Trust