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My perfect reading list

New registrars will be faced with a daunting choice of books to help you through the exams although the choice of books specifically tailored for the nMRCGP is limited. Dr Karen O'Reilly who sat the MRCGP exam in 2001 and then again 'for fun' in 2005 shares her list to get you started.

New registrars will be faced with a daunting choice of books to help you through the exams although the choice of books specifically tailored for the nMRCGP is limited. Dr Karen O'Reilly who sat the MRCGP exam in 2001 and then again 'for fun' in 2005 shares her list to get you started.

The exam might have changed but the medicine hasn't. Here is a suggested reading list that I found useful when I sat the exams.

It's not a prescriptive list. Everyone differs in the sorts of material they find useful and it's always useful to network with your colleagues be they other registrars, trainers or course organisers to see what resources they recommend.

With the recent change in the format of the exam this is a difficult time with limited resources yet on the market tailored specifically to the new MRCGP. What is currently available is outlined below but new materials are likely to become available over the coming months so it's worth keeping an eye out for new books etc.

Either the RCGP bookshop or amazon.co.uk are good sites to watch. The RCGP website has extensive information on the nMRCGP (www.rcgp.org.uk/nmrcgp ) with many useful resources and should be essential reading for anyone about to take the new exam. And the new Pulse website pulsetoday.co.uk already has a number of articles on the nMRCGP including a useful PDF of a registrar year planner.

General Information

* The Complete MRCGP Study Guide by Sarah Gear. Provides a good general overview.

* Oxford Handbook of General Practice. A great quick reference guide that covers both clinical and non clinical areas important to general practice.

* The Doctors Communication Handbook by Peter Tate. A useful guide to communication skills.

* NICE Guidelines. Available online at www.nice.org.uk . Paper copies of any guidance documents can be ordered free of charge if you prefer a copy to read in bed. The Scottish equivalent is SIGN Guidelines www.sign.ac.uk .

* BNF. Packed with information. Available on line at www.bnf.org but usage limited to 30 minutes per session.

* Clinical Evidence. (BMJ) Useful quick reference guide for evidence based management.

* How to Read a Paper by Trish Greenhalgh. Although critical reading questions will no longer surface on a written paper under nMRCGP, questions will appear on the AKT and this is a skill that GPs need to master.

* Hot Topics in General Practice by Ese Stacey. Hot topics covered in an easy to read way with bullet points and references.

* NB Medical Hot Topics course and accompanying booklets. The most useful educational resource I have ever come across. Every day topics important in general practice explained and updated with the very latest evidence in a very readable, digestible way. You may never need to read a journal again. www.nbmedical.co.uk .

Exam orientated resources

* RCGP Wessex Faculty: Guide to the CSA (DVD). Hot off the press. DVD with actors playing out nine sample CSA cases with accompanying useful booklet with full explanations and advice. Written by two current experienced examiners. Available from RCGP online bookshop or from Wessex Faculty RCGP on 01264 355055 or cwhite@rcgp.org.uk .

* EMQ's for the MRCGP Paper 2 Hayley Dawson and Anna Trigell. Good extended matching questions with good explanation of the answers.

Journals

* BMJ. La crème de la crème.

* BJGP. If selective there are some useful articles/ editorials to be found.

* New Generalist. Quarterly more glossy journal from RCGP with good clinical articles but beware the adverts look very like the main text.

* Pulse. Topical, informative and easy to read.

New publications

* My first NMRCGP Book Simon Curtis, Penny Moore and Carl Heneghan.

* Get through New MRCGP Applied Knowledge TEST Una Coles.

* Get through New MRCGP: Clinical Skills Assessment Bruno Rushforth and Val Wass.

Useful Internet sites

Clinical Answers. Really useful website where you can ask a clinical question and get an evidence based answer. Reading other questions already posted is a very useful learning resource. www.clinicalanswers.nhs.uk

RCGP ePEP. On line access to MCQ questions. Currently discounted as new format due in autumn 2007.www.rcgp.org.uk/professional development.

Finally don't get bogged down trying to read everything. Many things we only learn from experience and practice, so all that time at work is still valuable preparation time. Make the most of it but above all enjoy it…it's the best job in the world!

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