AMM denies Cardiothoracic Parallel Pathway grads cannot access UK Specialist Register

PETALING JAYA: The FRCS Edinburgh Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification is recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC), says the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM).

Its College of Surgeons (CSAMM) said the qualification is recognised by the GMC as a postgraduate qualification and added that it gives eligibility to apply for specialist registration in the UK through the portfolio pathway.

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

This comes after a report in Code Blue on the recognition of the FRCS Edinburgh in Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification by the UK General Medical Council (GMC).

It had been suggested that the Cardiothoracic Parallel Pathway graduates do not have access to the UK Specialist Register with their qualification, and CSAMM has since denied it.

"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," said CSAMM.

It added that applicants must 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 among others," said CSAMM.

It also said that this is very similar to specialist registration in Malaysia by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) and added that this is unlike specialists trained in the UK.

CSAMM said in a statement on Monday (May 20) that it is because these specialists successfully complete the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship exams in the UK and obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training in the country.

"These graduates have eligibility for automatic entry into the UK Specialist Register. This pathway is not available for specialists trained outside of the UK," it added in the statement.

CSAMM also said that it supports the recognition of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Parallel Pathway by the MMC.

It added that it 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," said CSAMM.

"It is a six-year structured training program with regular structured work-based assessments and Annual Reviews of Competence and Progression (ARCP)," it added.

CSAMM said that 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 said.

CSAMM added that this is the same and the only exit examination in Cardiothoracic Surgery used in Singapore and Hong Kong and fully recognized 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," it added.

CSAMM then said that while recognition of the 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 the 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," it added.

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