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GMC to Toughen Tests for Overseas Doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) announced that an international doctor who wants to work in the UK will face more tougher test before applying to register with the GMC.

Following the recommendations prepared from an independent review as commissioned by the GMC, a number of changes are being made to the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test. PLAB test is taken to determine whether the International Medical Graduates (IMGs) have the knowledge and skills for medical practise in the UK. The PLAB test includes a written knowledge test and a practical assessment of clinical skills.

The changes made in PLAB test are

  • Limitation on the number of times applicant can sit in the exam.
  • After passing the test, only within 2 years of time, applicants are allowed to apply for a licence to practice in the UK.
  • A broader general knowledge test
  • Completely modified practical assessment containing more scenarios, which will disclose real life discussions in the healthcare system of the UK. The scenario will evaluate applicant professionalism, understanding of ethics and clinical skills.

From September 2016, a new assessment will be introduced in instead of PLAB test. ‘‘Medical Licensing Assessment’ or ‘MLA’ will be working title given to the new test format which will replace the traditional PLAB test at some point in the future. It must be taken by all medical professional who want to practice in the UK. It will give a reassurance that UK trained doctors and overseas doctors have been inspected and assessed to the same high level.

Chief Executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson spoke on the changes of the PLAB examination. He said that medical professional employed in the UK must have the knowledge and practical skills to practice securely and effectively. And they must exhibit the professionalism patients expect.

He further added that to ensure medical professional are at the GMC utmost level the new changes are added to the entry test for overseas doctors. In the UK healthcare, the contribution given by overseas doctor is precious and these new changes will deliver extra assurance to the patients that they have conceded a tough assessment and have exhibited high standards of care and knowledge.

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