The MFDS is one of the UK’s top-tier medical qualifications, focusing on the world of Dentistry and broadening your knowledge, but just how does it work?
What is an MFDS?
MFDS stands for The Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery. The MFDS is a postgraduate qualification that gives you the chance to deepen your understanding of dentistry. The qualification is offered by the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, one of the oldest and largest of the surgical and dental colleges across the globe.
The MFDS is split into two parts:
- MFDS Part 1: A single-based answer test.
- MFDS Part 2: A test for communication, clinical competence and clinical reasoning.
The two parts cover two very different areas of dentistry. The first part is a 150-question single-best answer (SBA) test (basically, you pick your answer from a set of responses); while the second part is a mixture of written answers and oral face-to-face.
What are the entry requirements to take the MFDS?
The entry requirements for the MFDS are different from other qualifications. While for most other courses and qualifications, entry requirements will differ depending on where you study. In this case, the MFDS’ entry requirements will be the same regardless of where you hope to study.
For MFDS Part 1, you must have a primary dental qualification. This qualification must accepted by the councils of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
For the MFDS Part 2, you will need written confirmation that you passed Part 1. If you don’t have that, then you will need proof that you qualify for an exemption for the first MFDS exam. You will also need evidence that you’ve completed 12 months of experience in clinical dentistry prior to the closing date for the entry of the second exam.
How is the MFDS assessed?
Part 1 of the MFDS includes two papers, which take three hours each. The first paper consists of 200 short, single-answer questions, and the second includes multiple-choice and extended-matching questions.
Part two of the exam is based on OSCE real-life scenario questions and lasts two hours. It’s designed to test your clinical competence and assesses communication skills, knowledge, and the understanding and management of a range of common conditions.
You will have five years after passing the first exam to pass the second part of the exam. This five-year period includes applying and taking the second exam.
What are the MFDS examination fees?
As of January 2024, it costs around £535 to take the MFDS Part 1 exam and £700 for the MFDS Part 2 exam. This is subject to change on the exam centre and when it is being taken.
You should continually check this before you intend to take the test. These tests are also offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Who can take the MFDS?
Dentists who work both in the private and public sector will benefit from studying the MFDS. The exam is set at the level of a good general practitioner who has a broad amount of knowledge, and passing the exam will prove this.
Obtaining MFDS will also show you have passed a postgraduate level exam and allow you to develop further in any field in dentistry. It will also ensure that your patients know they’re in very safe hands!
Will you get letters after your name once you pass MFDS?
Yes, after passing the exam you are admitted as a member of a Royal College and entitled to use the letters, as an example, MFDS RCPS(Glasg) after your name. Or you can use the equivalent for other UK Royal Colleges.