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DRCOG: syllabus

This page provides the syllabus for the RCOG’s Diploma exam (DRCOG).

The DRCOG is an assessment of knowledge and competence in obstetrics, gynaecology, sexual health and family planning. The exam assesses knowledge and clinical problem solving in the modules listed below, as applied to women’s health at a level appropriate for a general practitioner (GP) in the UK.

Click on the module you wish to learn more about.

Module 1: Basic clinical skills

You’ll be expected to:

  • Understand patterns of symptoms in patients presenting with obstetric problems, gynaecological problems and sexually transmitted infections, and patients in a family planning setting
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiological basis of physical signs and understand the indications, risks, benefits and effectiveness of investigations in a clinical setting
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the components of effective verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Be aware of relevant ethical and legal issues, including the implications of the status of the unborn child, legal issues relating to medical certification, issues of medical confidentiality and issues surrounding consent in all clinical situations, including post mortem examination and termination of pregnancy

Module 2: Basic surgical skills

You’ll be expected to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of commonly performed obstetric and gynaecological surgical procedures, including their complications and the legal issues around consent to surgical procedures
  • Be aware of commonly encountered infections, including an understanding of the principles of infection control
  • Be able to interpret preoperative investigations and be aware of the principles involved in appropriate preoperative and postoperative care

Module 3: Antenatal care

You’ll be expected to:

  • Understand and demonstrate appropriate knowledge and attitudes in relation to perconceptional care, antenatal care and maternal complications of pregnancy
  • Be aware of substance misuse, psychiatric illness, problems of pregnancy at extremes of reproductive age and domestic violence in relation to pregnancy, and appreciate emotional issues and display cultural awareness
  • Have a good understanding of common medical disorders and the effect pregnancy may have on them, and they may have on pregnancy, and be able to assess and manage these conditions
  • Have knowledge of therapeutics in antenatal care
  • Show understanding of the roles of other professionals and the importance of liaison and empathic teamwork
  • Understand the principles of antenatal screening, including screening for structural defects, chromosomal abnormalities and haemoglobinopathies, and the effects of relevant infections during pregnancy on the fetus and neonate

Module 4: Management of labour and delivery

You’ll be expected to:

  • Have the knowledge, understanding and judgement to be capable of initial management of intrapartum problems in both a hospital and a community setting, including knowledge and understanding of normal and abnormal labour, interpretation of data and investigations, induction and augmentation of labour, and assessment of fetal wellbeing and compromise
  • Understand the management of all obstetric emergencies
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of regional anaesthesia, analgesia and operative delivery, including caesarean section
  • Demonstrate respect for cultural and religious differences in attitudes to childbirth

Module 5: Postpartum problems (the puerperium), including neonatal problems

You’ll be expected to:

  • Understand and demonstrate appropriate knowledge, management skills and attitudes in relation to postpartum maternal problems, including the normal and abnormal postpartum period, postpartum haemorrhage, therapeutics, perineal care, psychological disorders, infant feeding and breast problems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the investigation and management of immediate neonatal problems, including neonatal resuscitation

Module 6: Gynaecological problems

You’ll be expected to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge, management skills and attitudes in relation to benign gynaecological conditions, including urogynaecology, paediatric and adolescent gynaecology, endocrine problems, pelvic pain and abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge, management skills and attitudes in relation to early pregnancy loss, including clinical features, investigation and management of disorders leading to early pregnancy loss: miscarriage (including recurrent), ectopic pregnancy and molar pregnancy
  • Be able to assess and manage common sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS) and be familiar with their modes of transmission and clinical features
  • Understand the principles of contact tracing
  • Know the basis of national screening programmes and their implementation through local care pathways
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and attitudes in relation to subfertility, including an understanding of the epidemiology, aetiology, management and prognosis of male and female fertility problems
  • Have a broad-based knowledge of investigation and management of the infertile couple in a primary care setting
  • Have appropriate knowledge of assisted reproductive technologies, including the legal and ethical implications of these procedures

Module 7: Fertility control (contraception and termination of pregnancy)

You’ll be expected to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge, management skills and attitudes in relation to fertility control and termination of pregnancy
  • Understand the indications, contraindications, mode of action and efficacy of all reversible or irreversible contraceptive methods
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of abortion and be familiar with the accompanying laws related to abortion, consent, child protection and the Sexual Offences Acts.

There may be conscientious objection to the acquisition of certain skills in areas of sexual and reproductive health, but knowledge and appropriate attitudes as described above will be expected for the DRCOG.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email the DRCOG Secretary or call +44 20 7772 6282.

Elsewhere on the site

Format of the DRCOG
Information about the format of the DRCOG exam, including number of papers and question types
DRCOG FAQs
Answers to frequently asked questions about the DRCOG