Intended for healthcare professionals


GMC relaunches test for overseas doctors, but concerns remain over equivalence

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 20 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5104
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

The General Medical Council has relaunched its test for international medical graduates wishing to work in the UK, with the aim of making it more rigorous and reflective of real life practice. But one of the researchers whose work led the GMC to overhaul the test has warned that the revised examination will still not assess overseas graduates to the same level as UK graduates.

The first students sat the updated Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) test on 7 September. The exam was updated after a review of the exam commissioned by the GMC recommended that candidates should not be able to resit the test several times if they failed.1 The review also recommended that the exam should test candidates on the ethical and professional principles outlined in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidance.

Concern had also been expressed that the pass marks for the PLAB test were too low, after …

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