Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Is it worth taking the MRCPsych Exam for an Indian?

Is it worth taking the MRCPsych Exam for an Indian?

There is such passionate debate going on about the award of MRCPsych without examination. Those who have struggled to achieve Membership through examination feel that the value of this has been somewhat lowered or tarnished. They awarded me Membership without examination and would like to share what this means to me and what advantages it has afforded.

Has it helped me to get a job, a promotion, or a higher salary? 

The answer is no. In India, MRCPsych is not acceptable as a valid qualification. MRCPsych has conferred no advantage except receiving the British Journal of Psychiatry and the Psychiatric Bulletin. I definitely did not accept an International Fellowship because of a promise of MRCPsych, and I did not mention it on my curriculum vitae.

Memberships are free in other societies

To me, it means the same as my other members of international and national societies; they all ward me without examinations! There is no psychiatric society in the UK in which one can become a member except the College. If one could become a member of a professional body only through their own examination, it would be good neither for the professional nor for the professional body.

MRCPsych is Expensive

MRCPsych is an expensive membership to keep. For the annual fee, one could get a life membership or life fellowship of at least two or three Indian scientific societies. It is not surprising that some who are awarded an honorary MRCPsych cannot keep it after some years. As far as I am aware, no International Fellow with Membership without examinations has secured a job in the Gulf or other countries where the Membership is acceptable. I am aware of quite a few with honorary MRCPsych who have taken up assignments in different parts of the world or international organizations. It would be futile to speculate whether the honorary MRCPsych helped them to gain these positions.

RCPsych Must Take Action

I hope those opposing the award of MRCPsych without examination will view the process from the correct perspective and not feel that MRCPsych is an exalted commodity which they are being robbed of. I am happy to be a member of the College and enjoy taking part in its activities, and will probably keep Membership as long as I can afford it!

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, email: chatur@nimhans.kar.nic.in


Chaturvedi SK. What's in an MRCPsych! Psychiatric Bulletin. 2006;30(9):354-354. doi:10.1192/pb.30.9.354

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