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The MRCPCH MasterCourse was published in April 2007 following a prolonged gestation, which involved a unique collaboration between the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and publishing giant Elsevier. It is aimed both at paediatric trainees preparing for all parts of the College Membership (MRCPCH) exam, and primary care trainees preparing for the Diploma in Child Health (DCH). Purchase of the package provides two substantial paper volumes, an accompanying DVD and 3 years of free access to a linked website. The volumes can be purchased separately.
This multi-author review considers the package from a number of different perspectives.
THE PAST PRESIDENT’S VIEW
Professor Sir David Hall
The eminent consultants who taught my generation of medical students commanded enormous respect (and affection), but one of them, with unusual insight, observed, “we make the same mistake a thousand times and call it experience”. The culture of evidence based medicine has reduced scope for the idiosyncratic style of yesterday’s consultants. There is more likely to be a right and a wrong answer as to how one should investigate and treat any given clinical situation, but understanding the research that produces and evaluates today’s treatments has become much more challenging. No-one can now keep up with immunology, neuroscience, statistics and the myriad of other disciplines that support clinical medicine and there have been equally important developments in public health and the social sciences. For example, we now know far more about the complex relationships between social and economic circumstances, child rearing practices and child health and we appreciate more clearly how stress and distress can both mimic and interact with organic disease; these interactions go some way to explaining why so many of the children who present in primary care, and a good proportion of those seen by paediatricians, do not have a readily defined condition for which there …