(This post was originally written for my blog. Thank you, Dr. Raheela Mirza, for writing this)
After PLAB 1, I applied for the visa and got the visa in 3 days. ThenIi booked Swammy’s course for 11 days and took the exam after 6 days only. I had very less days for proper practicing but I will suggest at least 2 weeks of practice. Dr Swammy runs 11-day course, then we can practice mannikins and stations. In the course, he teaches tips and tricks for every station and gives proper scripts for each topic and scenario. In the real exam, it looked life Deja Vu as things were very similar.
Make a group with one person and practice each n’ every station. There’s a list of around 90 stations, you must know basics of them, how to gather data from patients, using appropriate language, showing sympathy with the patient as per situation, how to sort out the main cause and coming to a diagnosis, how to explain to the patient what’s going on. If it’s a mannequin station, must learn how to be quick and most importantly, completing the task isn’t important, conveying information to the patient is. Must explain management to the patient. Eye contact must be there and REMEMBER THEY NEED SAFE DOCTORS, NOT EXPERT DOCTORS. So just have faith and give correct knowledge. If you don’t know anything, don’t give wrong information. Excuse the patient, don’t panic and tell that you are not sure for now, but you will get back after consulting with seniors. There are so many tips only. Honestly, one week was very limited but I myself kept that. The sooner the better.
I took two mocks only which only helped me realize the exam situation and how I must behave with patients. Teachers give feedback and they are all very helping and encouraging.
Exam day is the same as every other exam; I took tab inderal 80 mg.
Exam has 18 stations and 2 rest stations. All I did was, follow what Dr. Swammy said: empathy and sympathy, using appropriate language, communicating well with patients, building a rapport. This is all very important.
At the end, Allah is the only power that can make us succeed in anything.
Just take it as a normal work day, where you are going to check 18 OPD patients. You know it all and you will make it.