• Vol. 40 No. 3, 119–125
  • 15 March 2011

What Skills are Tested in the New PACES Examination?



The MRCP(UK) PACES examination has been sat by almost 40,000 candidates in 10 countries around the world since its introduction in 2001. The examination assesses skills of relevance to the practice and delivery of high quality clinical care and is the leading international postgraduate summative assessment of this kind. In 2009, the examination was revised, and this article describes those revisions, focussing on the clinical skills assessed.

Despite the continuing emergence of sophisticated technology to aid diagnosis, many experienced clinicians continue to believe that bedside clinical skills relating to communication and physical examination remain fundamental to the practice and delivery of high quality patient care. Patients also regard doctors with a good “bedside manner”, as better doctors, and may benefit from feeling that the doctor, through measured history-taking and relevant physical examination, truly sees their problems within their own unique personal context.

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