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ASSESSMENT PLAB
PLAB

Part 1 of the test is a computer-marked written examination consisting of extended matching questions (EMQs) and single best answer (SBA) questions. The paper contains 200 questions and may include images. The examination lasts three hours. The proportion of SBA questions may vary from examination to examination but no more than 30% of the paper is composed of SBA questions.

Content

The PLAB test is designed to test the knowledge and skills relating to conditions commonly seen by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme the management of life-threatening situations and rarer, but important, medical problems. This means that UK-trained doctors and international medical graduates (IMGs) are expected to have the same level of knowledge and skills at this stage of their care

Skills

Four skill areas will be tested. Questions may draw upon recent evidence published in peer-reviewed journals. There may also be questions on the principles and practice of evidence-based medicine.

Diagnosis

Given the important facts about a patient (such as age, gender, nature of presenting symptoms and duration of symptoms) you will be asked to select the most likely diagnosis from a range of possibilities.

Investigations

This may refer to the selection or the interpretation of diagnostic tests. Given the important facts about a patient, you will be asked to select the investigation that is most likely to provide the key to the diagnosis. Or you may be given the findings of investigations and asked to relate these to a patient's condition, or to choose the most appropriate next course of action.

Management
PLAB

Given the important facts about a patient's condition, you will be asked to choose the most suitable management from a range of possibilities. It includes treatment, emergencies and acute care, palliative and terminal care, peri-operative management, and complementary therapy. In the case of medical treatments you will be asked to choose the correct drug therapy and will be expected to know about side-effects.

Context of clinical practice

This may include:

1.
He disease process: disease factors and the natural history of the untreated disease.
2.
The principles of epidemiology and the prevalence of important diseases in the UK.
3.
Promoting, monitoring and maintaining the health of individuals and groups
4.
Scientific knowledge: the scientific disciplines that underpin medicine, such as anatomy, genetics and pathology.
5.
Legal and ethical matters: you will be expected to know the major legal and ethical principles set out in Good Medical Practice and supporting guidance.
Assessment Part 2 PLAB
PLAB

Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It takes the form of 14 clinical scenarios or 'stations' as well as a rest station and one or more pilot stations. A pilot station is one where we are checking whether the station can be used in future examinations. Your mark for this station will not count towards your result. It is important, however, that all candidates complete the station because without the information gained from this we cannot evaluate the station properly. For this reason we do not reveal which is the pilot station. Each station lasts five minutes.

Level

The PLAB test is designed to test your ability to practice medicine safely in a UK hospital. It is set at the level expected at the end of Foundation Year One (F1). You can find out more about the Foundation Programme on the NHS Modernising Medical Careers website. Setting the standard at this point means that in the OSCE you must show that you are capable of performing the clinical and communication skills expected of a doctor who has had one year of clinical experience following graduation. The examiners will assess whether you are able to use your knowledge and skills appropriately.

Content
PLAB

The PLAB test is designed to test the knowledge and skills of candidates relating to conditions commonly seen by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme, the management of life-threatening situations and rarer, but important, medical problems. Any advice you give during the examination must be accurate but you should remember that the OSCE is a test of skill rather than of knowledge. You will not be expected to be familiar with NHS procedures

or British culture other than in the way it might affect how you treat patients. You must be familiar with the GMC publication Good Medical Practice and the supporting guidance as you will be expected to respond to situations in line with the advice they give . Good Medical Practice states "You must treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity". You might find it helpful to refer to our series of resource guides 'Valuing Diversity'. This provides an overview of equality legislation in the UK and has been designed to help doctors with issues around diversity and equal opportunities.

The skills assessed are:
1.
Clinical examination
2.
Practical skills
3.
Communication skills
4.
History taking
5.
You will be assessed on managing chronic and acute conditions and patients in peri-operative and emergency situations, as well as palliative and terminal care.
6.
In most stations you will be awarded marks for being systematic and well organized, confident and competent.
7.
Some of the areas on which you might be tested are listed below. Please bear in mind this is intended as a guide only: it does not tell you precisely what to expect on the day.
8.
You will be assessed on managing chronic and acute conditions and patients in peri-operative and emergency situations, as well as palliative and terminal care.
9.
n most stations you will be awarded marks for being systematic and well organized, confident and competent.

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