The PLAB exam consists of two parts: PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. Here is an overview of the syllabus for each part:
The PLAB 1 exam is a computer-based test consisting of 180 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers a wide range of medical topics, including:
- Medical ethics and law
- Clinical sciences (e.g. cardiology, respiratory medicine, gastroenterology, neurology, etc.)
The questions are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of these topics at a level equivalent to that of a newly qualified doctor who has completed their foundation training.
The PLAB 1 exam is divided into two papers, each lasting three hours. The questions are in the form of single best answer (SBA) questions, with four or five options, and are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of medical science and clinical practice. The questions are drawn from a wide range of sources, including medical textbooks, journal articles, and clinical guidelines.
The PLAB 1 exam syllabus is based on the GMC’s core curriculum for medical education and training, which sets out the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that all doctors in the UK should possess. The core curriculum covers the following areas:
- Professional values and behaviors
- Communication and consultation skills
- Clinical knowledge and skills
- Practical procedures
- Clinical reasoning and decision-making
- Leadership and teamwork
The PLAB 2 exam is a practical assessment of your clinical skills. The exam is designed to test your ability to examine, diagnose, and treat patients, as well as your communication skills and professionalism. The exam consists of 18 scenarios, each lasting 8 minutes, and covers a range of medical specialties, including:
- Obstetrics and gynecology
The exam is designed to simulate real-life clinical situations, and you will be assessed on your ability to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues, take an appropriate history, perform a relevant examination, and reach a diagnosis and management plan.
The PLAB 2 exam is designed to test your practical clinical skills, including your ability to communicate effectively with patients, take a relevant history, perform a relevant examination, and reach a diagnosis and management plan. The scenarios are based on common clinical presentations and cover a range of medical specialties.
The PLAB 2 exam syllabus is based on the GMC’s generic professional capabilities framework, which sets out the generic professional knowledge, skills, and behaviors that doctors should possess, regardless of their specialty or area of practice. The framework covers the following areas:
- Patient-centered care
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Maintaining trust
- Risk management and patient safety
- Quality improvement
- Leadership and management