The UK General Medical Council requires a passing score on the PLAB exam for admission of internationally trained medical doctors to practice in the UK. GMC provides valuable information about how to prepare for the PLAB exam.
There are two parts to the PLAB test. International medical graduates must first pass Part 1 before being accepted for Part 2 testing. The UK has a Foundation Programme to set standards for medical doctors. The content of PLAB Part 1 is designed to test whether the test taker has the expected knowledge of a UK doctor who has completed one year of clinical practice.
The Foundation Programme maintains a website with the organization’s training curriculum. You can get a better idea of what you need to know for the PLAB exam by looking at the curriculum. You will still need to purchase references to help you study. However, the curriculum is an excellent guide to the topics that international medical school graduates need to master to do well on the PLAB test.
Similarly, the PLAB Blueprint instructs test takers on the topics that appear on this Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board exam. As with the Foundation Programme curriculum, this will guide your studies but will certainly not fully prepare you for the test.
The General Medical Council does not recommend any specific PLAB study guides or textbooks or PLAB review or training courses. However, it does provide some information for learning the substantive material that is on the exam. For example, use the latest edition of the British National Formulary to know the names of drugs used on the test.
GMC has a section on its website called “Good Medical Practice.” It recommends studying this for the PLAB and the additional “Guidance on good practice” page. Finally, you should also read the “What is involved” section on the “PLAB: Part 1 Guidance” page to get strategic test-taking tips for PLAB exam questions.
PLAB Part 2 requires you to apply the knowledge you have acquired for treating patients by putting you through a series of mock patient evaluations. GMC also recommends the “Good Medical Practice” section for preparing for the PLAB Part 2 exam. Remember that you will have to perform and explain clinical tasks in English. You may have to get lots of practice doing this if you are not a native speaker. Read the “PLAB: Part 2” page on the General Medical Council website for more test-taking tips and advice about how to pass this skills portion of the PLAB exam.
The Foundation Programme: Training and Assessment (With Training Curriculum)
General Medical Council: Good Medical Practice
GMC: Guidance on Good Practice
GMC: PLAB: Part 1 Guidance
GMC: PLAB: Part 2 Guidance