Educational Resources

On this page you will find various educational resources for use by breast trainees


Nipple discharge accounts for 3-7% of all referrals to the one-stop breast clinic, with 15-45, 000 presentations to UK Breast clinics each year. Assessment includes the preparation of a nipple smear slide for cytology, which is a key clinical skill and can inform on the presence of blood cells, abnormal epithelial cells and malignant cells. Following an initial audit conducted among breast surgeons and radiologists, 56% did not feel confident in their nipple smear preparation technique, 45% were unclear when to label their slide and 62.7% did not know where on the slide the fluid should be placed. Ninety percent of those surveyed were unsure of the volume of fluid that should be placed on the slide and 65% requested a video guide to demonstrate the correct nipple slide preparation technique.

To view the training film please click here

Off the back of this audit  a video guide has been created. Please complete the short questionnaire here after watching. Please include your email address if you would like to be in with the chance of winning a £25 Amazon gift voucher! 

Getting Started


If you’re not quite sure where to start with your revision have a look at this comprehensive presentation by Mr Jason Lee on getting started.

FRCS Academic Viva


The following presentation by Mr Singh-Ranger gives some basic tips on how to read a paper in preparation for the academic viva. You can find additional information about how to read a paper below.

Mammary Fold Presentation


Click here to view a presentation from Miss Rebecca Lewis: FRCS General Surgery exam: tips for breast trainees in line with the new examination format. 

Pass Rates


In December 2015 the ABS sought to obtain the pass rates for breast trainees taking the FRCS exam as it had been lead to believe that breast trainees were failing these exams more frequently than other special interest trainees.

Pass/Fail rates were obtained from the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations and they reported that, "The JCIE can see no evidence to support the comments which you have received ie that breast trainees are failing the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination in General Surgery more frequently than other special interest trainees.... With zero fails in S1 and only two fails in S2 (all at the first attempt) JCIE would conclude that there are no specific issues with breast trainees."

How to Read a Paper


On this page you will find links to articles in the BMJ that explain how to read and interpret different kinds of research papers:

1. Papers that go beyond numbers (qualitative research) by Trisha Greenhalgh & Rod Taylor
2. Papers that summarise other papers (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) by Trisha Greenhalgh
3. Papers that tell you what things cost (economic analyses) by Trisha Greenhalgh
4. Papers that report diagnostic or screening tests by Trisha Greenhalgh
5. Papers that report drug trials by Trisha Greenhalgh
6. Statistics for the non-statistician. II: “Significant” relations and their pitfalls by Trisha Greenhalgh
7. Statistics for the non-statistician by Trisha Greenhalgh
8. Assessing the methodological quality of published papers by Trisha Greenhalgh
9. Getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about) by Trisha Greenhalgh
10. The Medline database by Trisha Greenhalgh

Cases to discuss


Please click below to access FRCS cases for discussion.

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Case 4 

European Board of Surgery Qualification - Breast

Find out more here


Every year, the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) organises in co-operation with the European Board of Surgery of the Union of European Medical Specialists (UEMS) Professional Examinations in both surgical oncology and in breast cancer surgery.

The examination aims at certifying the level of up-to-date knowledge, skills, and general competency necessary for the optimal treatment of a cancer patient.

The examination in surgical oncology is conducted under the supervision of an Examination Board chaired by Ms. Lynda Wyld (UK), Head of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Surgical section, UEMS. It consists of a written MCQ and an oral exam composed of 2 case discussions and a review of a scientific paper.

The examination in breast cancer surgery is conducted under the supervision of an Examination Board chaired by Professor Christos Markopoulos (GR), President of the Division of Breast Surgery, Surgical section, UEMS. It consists of a written MCQ examination, a breast module comprising oral examination according the UEMS guidelines on the standards for the training of specialised health professionals dealing with breast cancer ( Eur J Cancer 2007;43:660-675) and the review of a scientific paper on breast surgery. The examination is based on the core curriculum developed by the Education and Training Committee in 2012.