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MRCPsych courses play a key role in helping trainees prepare for Membership examinations and specialist training. Historically, their social aspect, although arguably as important, has perhaps not been sufficiently prioritised. During a pandemic, when teaching is largely delivered virtually, the social benefit of meeting peers is highlighted by its absence. Given the future likelihood of increased virtual teaching, it is of paramount importance to explore ways of enhancing the sociability of teaching courses. In addition to the social needs of trainees, there is a recognised need to increase and integrate the neuroscience component of the curriculum to better meet the needs of modern day mental health research, treatment and practice. This article describes how the Birmingham MRCPsych course successfully addressed both these issues with a 2-day ‘residential’ in October 2019, and considers whether future residentials could be delivered virtually.

Original publication




Journal article


BJPsych Bulletin


Royal College of Psychiatrists

Publication Date



1 - 6