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Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)

PLAB part 1

We book members of the Wales Asylum Seeking and Refugee Doctors and Dentists group (WARD) onto a PLAB 1 course, held in London which consists of a 20 days teaching course with two off days in between. The course is from 9am till 7pm with one hour lunch break.

Plabtrainer gives a short lecture on each day about a topic (eg;- CNS or Paeds) and then solve all the past questions about that topic on that particular day. They try to cover all the topics required for the PLAB 1 Exam.

At the end of the course mock tests are conducted and are very similar to the GMC exam where candidates will learn about the time management as well as techniques of answering the questions.

It is strongly recommend everyone takes at least four mock tests to enhance the chances of passing the exam in the first attempt.

Typical course schedule will be as follows (each day is dedicated to a particular topic):

  1. respiratory system and blood gases
  2. cardiovascular system
  3. gastroenterology
  4. nephrology and biochemistry
  5. psychiatry
  6. paediatrics
  7. trauma
  8. orthopaedics
  9. obstetrics
  10. gynaecology
  11. general surgery
  12. systemic surgery
  13. endocrinology
  14. ENT / ophthalmology / dermatology
  15. rheumatology / epidemiology / toxicology
  16. central nervous system
  17. infectious disease
  18. pharmacology / miscellaneous topics

PLAB part 2

The PLAB 2 course should be done ideally about five to six weeks before the GMC exam date so that the doctors will have at least three to four weeks to practice after the course as there are nearly 300 stations to practise. The course consists of 11 days of teaching including the weekend, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. Each day will be dedicated to a specific topic:

  1. introduction and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  2. manikins (part 1)
  3. remaining manikins including CPR (Part 2) and dose calculation
  4. clinical examination in medicine
  5. clinical Examination in orthopaedics and surgery
  6. history and counselling in medicine
  7. history and counselling in surgery and orthopaedics
  8. history and counselling in obstetrics and gynaecology
  9. history and counselling in paediatrics
  10. history and counselling in psychiatry
  11. VIVA, drug prescription, hand washing, MRSA, telephone conversation and other miscellaneous topics

Mock test takes about one and a half hour to two hours. There will be feedback from the mock test in the evening after all the batches finishes the mock test.

There will be two types of feedback. One type of feedback is "general feedback" and the other type is "personal feedback". For the general feedback all the candidates who took the mock tests on that particular day (usually about 25 to 30 doctors take the mock test per day) will assemble in the evening and the mock test examiners will discuss all the mistakes done by all the candidates. Usually the general feedback takes about three hours (usually from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm).

In the general feedback you will learn from other candidates' mistakes. After the general feedback you can meet your mock test examiner who will give your personal feedback if you need.