appeared for FRCS Glasgow part 3 exam in Hyderabad in Feb 2016.
By Allah's grace I
passed the exam and would like to share my experience. I would like to
dedicate my success to my friends who helped me and guided me in every
step while preparing for the exam. I would like to thank my wife and
children for bearing with me and supporting me during the
As an exam centre,
Hyderabad is an excellent centre as you would get standard cases. L V
Prasad is one of the best and busiest tertiary care Ophthalmology
centre. So you can expect standard textbook cases in exam. You would
not see weird cases that you see in some of the other centres for lack
of good classical exam cases.
preparation, I did not study anything except Kanski (latest 8th
edition). But then I know and remember almost every line from Kanski.
I am a practising retinal surgeon and hence I have routinely read from
additional sources and been in touch with retina, uvea and
neurophthalmology (only optic nerve related) topics. For everything
else I read kanski and added my own notes. I had also read a little
bit of Massachusetts 4th edition. Also, I used to see a lot of videos
on Youtube (especially Tim Root and also his website
and read online and prepare my own notes. I could not study for long
hours as I am into full time clinical practice and used to read things
and see videos etc in between patients.
I tried reading Wong but couldn't as I cannot read textbooks
especially objective type point-wise books. I cannot remember such
monotonous books. Plus in FRCS Glasgow you dont remember in exam and
lose track of very very simple things. Sometimes you cant remember
things like I would like to investigate this patient and confirm the
diagnosis and treat. Because there is definitely a mental block and
time is a major factor. You just cant "try" to think and try to
recollect the 3Ps or 7Ds or the other 100Cs that wong mentions. You
have to tell the most common and most obvious causes and treatment and
clinical features. You never have time to mention more than 3 or 5
signs/ symptoms, clinical features/associatons etc. So trying to
remember the various things given in Wong for part 3 is difficult and
then when u stumble or stutter in exam trying to remember unusual
things you appear to be less confident and then ur chances of failing
increases. It may be good for MCQs but for part 3 I think its
excessive. Instead, for each topic remember the most important things.
For passing FRCS,
confidence is most important. Do not try to think. Be very clear and
fluent in answering. The more the examiner prompts you, the more you
lose marks. There are standard topics and cases. At least prepare your
own notes and a plan in the exam for those standard things. Go through
the experiences of previous candidates. It is the most important
things you will find in exam. You will feel as if you have already
been through this.
stations, the questions are given by the college. So, they are
specific. Me and my previous candidate appeared for the same tables
with different examiners and were shown same photos and pictures and
asked exactly same questions. That's how I came to know that the
questions are set by the college and they are changed for each batch
as mentioned on their website. Each examiner examines you on 3
different topics. And then asks you questions related to those. The
questions are generally simple and straightforward and they expect
certain key words in the answers. Keeping your cool and answering in
an organised manner is most important.
cases, demonstrating signs is most important and ur approach.
Diagnosis is not important. Differential Diagnosis is extremely
important only relevant to YOUR case and not all the 25 differentials
given in textbooks. remember you have only 6 minutes for the case. In
that you have to listen to the examiners questions, examine and
demonstrate signs, tell your diagnosis/differential diagnosis and
treatment. You have to tell the most important signs and investigation
and finding and never forget to rule out life threatening conditions.
In my exam lot of students failed becoz they could not diagnose
carotid-cavernous fistula. The point is you cannot miss it. This is
one of the conditions seen by ophthalmologists wherein if we do not
refer them they may die! You have to at least mention in differential
of proptosis. Show it to the examiner that your are thinking about it
and would like to rule out.
FRCS is an easy exam
to pass but even easier to fail. Do not panic, stay calm and stay
simple. Don't complicate things by giving weird answers. In our exam
16 out of 40 passed.
Anyway, these were
my topics for Oral Stations:
Neurology and Medicine
2) 35yr female with headache and dilated pupil ( I gave DD of 3rd
Nerve palsy due to aneurysm and Ophthalmoplegic Migraine)
3) Needle stick injury
4) CMV retinitis atypical photo. (was more like frosted bite angitis)
5) Ocular Lymphoma management
1) Glaucoma drugs with classification. Advantage of timolol over PG
analogue. Disadvantage of Alphagan
2) Corneal ulcer with hypopyon. Same picture without corneal ulcer ie
only hypopyon. Hypopyon in a patient with fever chills and sub ungual
hemorrhages what is the diagnosis. ( I could not answer--answer is
infective endocarditis causing endogenous endoph)
3) CNVM with drusens
4) Visual field reporting. Causes of inferior field defects.
5) FFA of peripheral neovascularisation. DD and management. (Diabetic
retinopathy and sickle cell etc)
6) Acute congestive glaucoma DD and detailed management. Causes and
site of glaucoma fleken
1) PXF and nucleus drop
2) Refractive surprise
3) Trachoma with entropion and surgeries
4) 4 yrs after trab comes with low iop causes and management
5) 2 weeks after trab shallow AC and high IOP
6) Corneal lattice dystrophy with management
And these were my
clinical cases. I managed 3 cases in each station except Oculoplasty.
corneal transplant with clear graft with peaked pupil with PCIOL with
PCO with iris pigment dispersion on graft
2) Stromal Corneal dystrophy probably granular
3)Trab with bleb
1) Proptosis with
cork screw vessels with Carotid-cavernous fistula
2) Proptosis with elevation and abduction absent (i.e. inferior rectus
and medial rectus restriction-- Thyroid eye disease). However, the eye
was in general very quiet and there was no redness at all.
1) Right eye
inferior branch retinal vein occlusion with vitritis/Vitreous
hemorrhage with CME, left eye white subretinal patches near the fovea.
DD BRVO or Vasculutis (Eales/Sarcoidosis etc)
2)Retinal detachment with PVR with norrow funnel
1) Esotropia with IO
overaction asked to do Hirshberg cover uncover and prism bar test
2) 3rd nerve palsy with pupil sparing
3) Severe ptosis with restricted movement in all gazes- CPEO
If you have any
queries you can email me on
Best of Luck.