After you graduate from medical school, you have two options:
- To work locally.
- To work abroad.
I have discussed these options in detail in my post home vs abroad. If you choose to work abroad, this post might help you.
Prerequisites for PLAB
- Graduation from medical school.
- IELTS with at least 7.0 in each section and at least 7.5 overall.
OET with at least a grade ‘B’ in each testing area.
PLAB is a licencing exam for International Medical Graduates wishing to practice in the UK. PLAB has two parts, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. Once you’ve passed your PLAB 2, you can get GMC registration to become eligible to work in the UK as a doctor.
Why Go for PLAB
1. PLAB is Easy
PLAB is an easy exam. If you think I find PLAB easy because I’ve already passed it, let me tell you that when I wrote this post, I had not passed my PLAB 2 and I was waiting for my result. Compared to PLAB, other countries’ licencing exams are not this easy. The questions for the PLAB exam have a very low difficulty level, passing scores are very low and passing rates are very good. People who have taken PLAB, will confirm this for you.
Once you’ve passed, you’re eligible to work in the UK.
3. Less Studying
You only have to study Clinical Science subjects and not your Basic Science subjects for PLAB.
Unlike other countries’ exams, you do not need to quit your job to study for PLAB. You can easily continue working and study for your PLAB. In fact, it is recommended that you do not quit working, because your job will help you in your PLAB 2 visa application, by showing stronger ties with your home country and better financial stability.
5. Less Prep Time
6. Early Start
It usually takes people 12 to 18 months to go through all three exams and start working in the UK. Compared to other countries’ exams, this is a very early start.
7. Costs Less
Compared to other countries’ exams, the whole PLAB journey costs a lot less. It costs around £5,000 – £6,000 ($6,000 – $7,500). This includes your exam fee for IELTS, both parts of PLAB, your return ticket to the UK, your academy course fee, your accommodation in the UK, your living expenses in the UK (including traveling and food) and your GMC registration fee.
8. Passing Scores are Low
9. Scores Don’t Matter
As long as you’ve passed the exam, scores don’t matter. So someone with 180 out of 190 and someone with 125 out of 180 are equally eligible to apply for the same job.
10. Passing Rate
According to GMC’s official website, 76% and 79% candidates who appear in PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 exams, respectively, pass the exam.
11. Multiple Shots
I’m sure most of you will pass your PLAB exams in your first attempt. However, even if you don’t, you’re allowed to appear in each PLAB exam four times.
According to the BBC’s report, 9.3% of doctor posts in the UK are vacant. This equals to 11,500 posts being vacant. So unlike other countries, where you’re not sure of getting a job, you can be one hundred per cent sure of getting a job in the UK after GMC registration.
13. Training Job
Depending on the specialty you choose, there are openings for training jobs as well. However, you need to meet certain criteria before they feel safe enough to let you enter the training. Therefore, finding a training job immediately after passing PLAB 2 can be challenging. Most people find non-surgical training jobs within the first year or two of passing PLAB 2.
14. Visa Policy
Having two visa rejections myself, I can say that as long as you fill your visa application correctly, you will get your visa. Of course, there are exceptions. Some of my friends had really good cases, but it took them a couple of attempts to get their visa. In general, if you play your cards right, you’ll get a visa. The UK needs doctors.
15. Helpful IMG Community
One of the best thing about your journey to the UK will be the friends that you will make. Some of them will end up feeling like your family. So it’s completely okay if you do not know anyone in the UK; soon you will know dozens of people in the UK. People who take PLAB are generally very nice, kind and helpful. They will go out of their way to help you. And once you become a part of this PLAB community, you will find yourself helping others as well.
In my opinion, if you want to move abroad, PLAB might be a good option.