After you graduate from medical school, you have two options:
- To work in your home country.
- To work abroad, in a better system.
I have discussed this in detail in my post home vs abroad. If you want to work abroad, you have to decide where you want to work. If you have an open mind and you don’t mind exploring your options or if you’re confused, this post might help you.
In this post, I will try to tell you, why going for PLAB might not be such a bad idea.
Prerequisites for PLAB:
- Graduation from medical school.
- IELTS with 7.0 in each section and 7.5 overall.
PLAB is the 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 exam, you can get GMC registration to become eligible to work in the UK as a doctor.
Why Go for PLAB
1. PLAB is Easy:
Because PLAB is one of the easiest exams in this world. If you think I find PLAB easy because I’ve already passed it, let me tell you that I still haven’t passed PLAB 2. As I write this, I’m waiting for my result for PLAB 2. 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 work, 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 8-12 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), your GMC registration fee.
8. Passing Scores are Low:
Seriously, is there any other exam with such low passing scores? PLAB is very easy.
9. Scores Don’t Matter:
As long as you’ve passed the exam, scores don’t matter. So someone with 190 out of 200 and someone with 125 out of 200 are equally eligible to apply for the same job.
10. Passing Rate:
According to GMC’s official website, 69% and 68% candidates who appear in PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 exams, respectively, pass the exam.
However, from what I’ve seen in my circle, 99% candidates pass PLAB 1 and 90% candidates pass PLAB 2.
11. Multiple Shots:
I’m sure you’ll 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.
12. Job Guarantee:
I’m not sure why, but the UK is seriously short of doctors. There are more jobs and fewer doctors. So unlike other countries, where you’re not sure of getting a job, in the UK, you can be one hundred percent sure of getting a job after passing your PLAB 2.
13. Training Job:
There are always 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 is a little unlikely. Most people find 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’ll 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 don’t know anyone in the UK; soon you’ll know dozens of people in the UK. People who take PLAB are generally very nice, kind and very 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 out of your home country, PLAB is your best option.