Cambridge MRCPsych Critical Review Course
Designed for MRCPsych Paper B
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September 2020
Dr. Paul Wilkinson, University Senior Lecturer and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the University of Cambridge, will deliver this weekend course; for obvious public health reasons, this will be delivered online via Zoom. Dr Wilkinson has been running a crash course for the MRCPsych Critical Appraisal exams since 2003. He has been at the forefront of developing, delivering and training in online teaching since the start of the Covid pandemic, locally and nationally. This has been within psychiatry but also across all specialties, through organisations such as the Medical Schools Council and the RCPsych Undergraduate Education Forum.
This course will thoroughly prepare candidates for the epidemiology, statistics and research methodology components of the MRCPsych Paper B. The RCPsych curriculum for Critical Review will be used as a basis for what is taught. The course will teach General Research Methodology and all specific research types e.g. RCTs, health economics, aetiology, qualitative research etc. After each mini topic there will be MCQ/ EMQ practice and discussion. The course will cover all statistical tests that are likely to come up in the exam, e.g. Mann-Whitney, multiple regression, and discuss how to interpret them and answer questions on them. The statistics will be scattered through the day, presented together with the relevant study design, to keep it in small doses! Teaching will include essential calculations e.g. NNT, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio. Candidates will have plenty of opportunities to practise these calculations. The course will conclude with MCQs and EMIQs that test knowledge across study designs e.g. Which is the best statistical test to use in a specific situation? What type of bias would occur in this situation? Which is the most appropriate study design? And finally there will be some practice on the sets of questions that accompany an excerpt from a real research paper.
We shall use a bank of more than 300 questions including MCQs and EMIQs from recent exams, the pilot exams, questions adapted from the old-style exam and questions written by the Cambridge team. Full handouts (paper and/or online) will be given of questions; answers and explanations; and slides used to teach theoretical material. Some questions will be sent to candidates before the course, so they can try them in advance if they so wish.
We shall continue to cap the course at a maximum of 20 participants, to allow good discussion – a key strength of this course. Dr Wilkinson has extensive recent experience of leading interactive teaching on Zoom. As candidates no longer need to travel, the course has been made longer on days, which will give us the time to go through more questions. The course will cost less than normal, however this reduction is not that great as the only cost savings for us are lunch and refreshments.
Fee: £280 (£220 for internal Cambridge MRCPsych course candidates)
We offer a reduced fee of £180 (£140 for internals) for candidates coming to the course on a second occasion.
SATURDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2020
9:30 – 09:45 Registration
09:45 – 12:45 General research methodology
Presentation of results and distributions
Statistical significance and confidence intervals
Problems of statistical tests
Measurement, reliability and validity
12:45 – 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 – 5:00 Treatment studies
Types of treatment studies
Carrying out treatment
Statistics of comparing two (or more groups)
Number needed to treat
Dealing with drop-outs (from treatment or analysis)
Special types of treatment studies
SUNDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER
9:30 – 12:30 Epidemiology studies
Prevalence and incidence
Standardised mortality ratio
Types of study – cohort vs case-control
Relative risk and odds ratio
Appraisal of studies
Adjusting for confounding
Sensitivity and specificity
Positive and negative predictive value
12:30 – 1:15 LUNCH
1:15 – 5:00 Combining studies and meta-analysis
General MCQs and EMIQs
Suggestions for further studying