For medical practitioners considering relocation choosing the right county is so important. However, this choice involves careful consideration of several factors. Among these factors is the qualification exam and process that allows you to practice medicine in your chosen destination legally.
We will explore both exams under the following headings
- Eligibility Criteria
- Format and Content
- Assessment Process
- Passing Rates
- Recognition and Licensure
- Challenges and Considerations
But before we proceed, let’s explain what the PLAB & AMC are.
What is PLAB?
PLAB is an acronym for the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test, and it is conducted by the General Medical Council (GMC). The United Kingdom uses it to assess if immigrant doctors seeking to practice have the proper knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective medical care to their citizens.
What is AMC?
AMC stands for the Australian Medical Council, a body that assesses and accredits medical practitioners in Australia. The AMC conducts a series of examinations designed to evaluate the knowledge, clinical skills, and professionalism of candidates seeking registration to practice medicine.
First on our list are the pre-requirements needed to be eligible to take the exams in these countries.
The AMC requires,
- Proof of identity includes a valid passport and a government I.D. This is to verify that you are who you say you are and that you are a registered citizen of that country
- You must present your degree and the official transcript from your university.
- Immigrating doctors are usually required to have some years of experience working in a hospital or clinic. A letter of recommendation and experience letter would be required.
- Medical Registration Certificate. This will prove that you are eligible to practice medicine in your home country.
However, to qualify for the PLAB, requires,
- You must have completed and obtained your medical degree from an institution listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
- You must have taken an English proficiency test (IELTS or OET) and passed with the necessary scores.
- You must be eligible to practice medicine in your home country.
- It is required that you have completed 12 months of internship at a teaching or approved hospital to obtain complete registration,
Format and Content
The next thing to discuss is the format of both exams. Both exams are divided into parts. PLAB is divided into two,
PLAB 1 is a written test comprising 180 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 3 hours. Each question starts with a scenario followed by a question and assesses your understanding of basic medical sciences, clinical medicine, and ethics.
PLAB 2 is a practical review that evaluates your clinical skills, including communication, history-taking, physical examination, and clinical management. The idea here is to reflect real life and comprises 18 clinical scenarios that last 8 minutes each.
On the other hand, the AMC exams are divided into two
- CAT mcq questions
- Clinical examination.
The Computer Adaptive test is an MCQ numbering 150, and it tests your knowledge in general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology.
The clinical examination is a practical assessment that evaluates your clinical skills in patient care and communication, review, and diagnosis. It has 20 stations and takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes. The clinical exam has a choice called the workplace-based assessment pathway (WBA); it has a cactusmeraviglietina.it limited spot and is open to doctors employed at one of ten sites accredited by the AMC for this purpose in Australia.
Of the two examinations, PLAB is the less expensive option. PLAB 1 costs about AUD 492 (£ 255), while the AMC MCQ costs AUD2,920(£ 1,515). PLAB 2 costs AUD 1,799 (£ 934), and the AMC Clinical examination is about AUD 3,730(£ 1,934).
PLAB 1 exams are run four times a year in the UK and abroad. You can take the test 4 times but must undergo an extra 12 months of clinical training to be allowed a 5th and final try. PLAB 2 is held only in the U.K., and the venues available will be shown when you register online. Also, PLAB 2 must be done within two years of passing PLAB1.
AMC CAT exam is held on multiple dates every month worldwide, and you have an unlimited amount of trials. However, the clinical exam can only be taken after completing the CAT exam. Note that it can also be taken online. This format was been developed to account for health restrictions especially following the pandemic.
The pass rate for both exams paints an interesting picture, but you must remember that the AMC is geared towards new medical practitioners while PLAB is aimed at the more experienced.
Over the last five years, PLAB has maintained a 65% pass average for PLAB1, and PLAB 2’s pass average is 69%. The AMC, on the other hand, has an average pass rate of 63% for the MCQ, but it drops for the clinical exam to an average of 28%. However, the workplace based assessment (WBA) of the has a pass rate of 99%.
Recognition and Licensure
Passing your PLAB exam allows you to apply for complete registration and grants you a license to practice, and this should be done within two years of passing PLAB 2. With this, you can begin working as a doctor once the GMC gives you approval.
Australia is a bit different in that you must first get an employment offer before being granted a provisional license that will allow you to complete a 12-month internship where you prove your competence. This can be done after passing your AMC CAT exam, helping you reduce your time. Once you have completed both parts of the exam plus your trial year, you are eligible to work in Australia.
Challenges and Considerations
Both exams come with their challenges. The AMC is quite expensive, and as its pass rate has shown, it may require multiple attempts. To avoid overspending, past successful AMC test takers recommend preparing for three months – 1 year.
PLAB allows a max of 5 attempts, so it is prudent that you pass. Experts recommend spending 1.5-4 months preparing for the exams, as seen in the previous pass rates.
The AMC and PLAB are crucial exams for anyone who wants to study in Australia or Canada, respectively. This is because you need to pass these exams to get your medical license and get a job in these countries. So, we know how important these exams are. And that’s why at CanadaQBank, we offer some of the best simulated AMC CAT MCQs you will ever get! It is gotten from the actual exams and updates regularly to go with changes in the curriculum.
For PLAB, we also have over 3400 of some of the best MCQs tailored to help you pass your PLAB 1. These simulated questions give you a feel of how the exams will be and make your medical dreams come true.