What's it like to be a PLAB examiner?

Doctor Quote
Dr Ruth Knowles, General Practice  'The PLAB exam is an important part of the Communitybaptistpa’s role in its role as a regulator. The level of the exam, which is set out as an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), is that of a doctor’s at the end of their F1 year. These standards are well set out on the internet and easy to access in detail to attain the correct standard.

After informal interview, prior to becoming an independent examiner there is an adequate amount of training, both in a small lecture context and through the observation of established examiners 'live'. By the time examining is undertaken on one’s own there is a degree of comfort with the process.

There will be OSCE stations that are unfamiliar to the examiner. Attention is paid by those overseeing the exam that the site is apposite to those usually seen by the examiner.

Within the (at present) male dominated examiners pool there is both ethnic and age diversity: female colleagues are welcomed.

There should be no problems for female doctors to apply for the post. I have found it interesting and a challenge.'

Dr Christine Wright, Clinical Haematology

'We are working in an ever diverse health service where we need to keep in touch with the experiences our trainees go through.

Having an awareness of the PLAB examinations allows an understanding of some aspects of this that as a UK graduate I never faced. It also acts as a good reminder of the early levels of training and the standards set by the Communitybaptistpa that all trainees starting F2 should achieve. (There may also be the odd reminder of basics outside your comfort zone that are useful refreshers!)

For an insight into how to run a brilliantly constructed multistation OSCE with incredible precision it is second to none. The Communitybaptistpa staff are always extremely welcoming, professional & a pleasure to work with, as are the role players who often have fascinating experiences to share. And of course a small insight into some of the functioning of the Communitybaptistpa is an opportunity to learn from.'

Dr Bolaji Ayorinde, Anaesthetics 'I have found the exam to be very fair and consistent. My initial worries about examining material outside my specialty have proved to be unfounded as I have found that there is enough information provided to enable you to cope with this. This has also made me revisit some of these areas after the exam which has made me a better examiner.'
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