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Ulster Med J. 2010 May; 79(2): 107.
PMCID: PMC2993137

Get through First FRCR: MCQs for the Physics Module

Reviewed by Dr Winder John

Get through First FRCR: MCQs for the Physics Module.
Mair Grant,  Baird Andrew,  Bisset Andrew. Consulting Editor  Williams Jerry. 1st Edition. The Royal Society of Medicine Press. October  2010. 156pp. £24.95. ISBN  978-1-85315-951-0.
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This book is part of the Royal Society of Medicine Press “Get Through …” series aimed at doctors in training. It’s a pocket size book of multiple choice questions with answers and a mock examination at the end to test yourself. The First Part FRCR exam has gone through some renovation recently so this book is timely and comprehensive. It is written by three specialist registrars in Radiology (all passed their exam first time) and edited by Jerry Williams Head of Radiological Physics Training for South East Scotland. The book will appeal to trainee radiologists who are sitting their FRCR part 1 exam, lecturers in Physics for Radiologists and also Radiology tutors.

After a contents page and useful list of abbreviations, the book is structured into sections each focussing on key sections of the FRCR part 1 physics syllabus. The questions follow the format of the examination closely and I wasn’t able to identify any errors in the samples I attempted. One of the key strengths of this book is that each answer has a short explanation (sometimes up to a paragraph) which immediately commends itself. Also, the questions are graded with a star system to give you an indication of the difficulty of each question. The questions ranged from the basic “The atomic number of iodine is 53” (True - and I’m sure you knew that) to the more challenging “”The photoelectric effect occurs at a maximum when the incident photon energy is just less than the k-edge” (False – and I’m sure you knew that too!). The book is not all basic physics, there is lots applied science and technology too. For example, “The centre of the patient receives the highest radiation dose when using a helical scanner” (False) or “Modern plastic cardiac pacemakers are safe for MRI (False – it is not just what things are made of that may make them hazardous in MR scanning). One of my favourites was “Photon starvation occurs in obese patients” (False - even the physicist has a sense of humour!). I wasn’t able to identify any missing sections although in some cases there was a limited supply of questions. For example, in the area of contrast agents or imaging modality quality assurance, there tended to be one question only. This is a minor quibble, as these questions serve to help the candidate identify areas for revision rather than cover the whole spectrum fully.

A candidate who is able to answer the questions correctly in this book, and has their knowledge supported by thorough revision, will very likely do well in their FRCR Part 1 Physics exam. It is certainly worth the £24-95 to see you through the exam.

Articles from The Ulster Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of Ulster Medical Society