What is it like to be a PLAB examiner?
The PLAB exam is an important part of the GMC’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.'
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.'