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PLAB 2 Experience From An Old Graduate + Important Tips

Discussion in 'PLAB' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    It is only to give some of the older folks some inspiration that I write this.

    I graduated in 1988 from King Edward Medical University and have only practiced clinical medicine for the year of my house job in Pakistan. I then did an MBA and have been doing different pharmaceutical / medical device industry jobs since then. Having migrated to the UK around 11 years ago, I decided to move to medical affairs roles in pharmaceuticals. But the better roles require a GMC registration so after hesitating for a few years I finally took the plunge a year and half ago.

    I started the PLAB 2 journey which was tougher than the part 1. The academy itself was torture with classes beginning at 10ish and lasting till11ish on most days with only 1 break in between. This was 15 days followed by another 2 days after a gap of a few days. With a gap of more than 30 years between my last contact with medicine I had to put in a great deal of work – along with my job and other family responsibilities – after the academy. I missed it the first time round. I retook 5 months after the first attempt and got through 14 stations in the second attempt.

    People will ask for tips… my tips won’t be relevant to all since my experience and back ground was very different.
    • I had to study scripts and academy notes but also study medicine from a short textbook. I used 'Medicine at a Glance.'
    • I discovered that watching videos works for me. There are good videos on most subject on you tube. Don’t forget to search you tube.
    • There are lots of very kind and bright young people who help others after passing. They are on different WhatsApp groups and some of them charge money for their services and help but it is worth every penny. Find out whose advice and style works for you and try to benefit from them. I would mention Dr. Ahmad Khalifa who now works in the NHS and doesn’t take classes. I listened to his audio lectures on my morning commute to work and Dr. Lianne with whom I took a few sessions and an online mock.
    Here are a few general things:
    • There is no gospel. Take input from whomever you can but don’t blindly follow anyone. Find out what works for you.
    • Academies are necessary, but each of them thinks they know what best works for you. They would like to force you to do it their way. For example, they would push hard for you to come to the academies and practice with others. This would work for 99% of you, but I only practiced with others for around 20 hours. I practised with myself.
    • Each of you will have to put in different amount of effort based on where you are.
    • Persevere.
    I finally got my GMC registration yesterday. Am very relieved.

    Dear All,

    Many have asked about EXPLAINING GAP CLINICAL PRACTICE to GMC. I can only comment on my experience and understanding:
    1. Whereas I am not aware of anyone older than me (I am sure there will be some), I do know quite a few who have gone through the process after long gaps – I am talking of upto 15 / 20 years etc.
    2. When applying for the registration after PLAB there are fields where you have to enter your employment history over the previous 5 years if you have worked in a nonmedical capacity and then provide employer references on their prescribed form. I provided my employment history as working in pharmaceutical companies in a non medical capacity before my move to medical affairs and in a medical capacity after I moved to medical affairs. GMC verified my employment history with my referees and did seek clarification from me about the tenure that I was working in the medical capacity. I would not be able to comment on what the others that I know have done.
    3. My understanding is that GMC is more concerned about gaps during and around the house job / internship than about the gaps after that. They would ask about it but they will listen to plausible explanations.

    By Mansoor Ashraf
     

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