GMC reviews test for non-EU overseas doctors

The GMC is reviewing the way it tests doctors from overseas but not EU countries who want to register in the UK.

The regulator will review the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test, which doctors qualified outside of the UK and EU currently have to undergo before they join the UK medical register.

The two-part test allows doctors to demonstrate their clinical skills, and is set at the level of skill expected of a UK graduate after their first year of training – the end of Foundation Year 1.

The test has not been reviewed since 2003, and the GMC said the review would ensure that the PLAB test continues to represent best practice in medical testing.

Chief executive of the GMC Niall Dickson said: ‘The NHS has long relied on the skills and professionalism of doctors who trained outside the UK, and of course it is vital that every doctor coming to work here has the skills to treat patients safely and effectively.

‘The current review reflects that fact that medical education and practice are constantly changing as are the techniques used for testing knowledge, skills and competencies. We want to make sure our PLAB test reflects best practice. We are therefore keen to hear from anyone with ideas or information that may be helpful to the expert panel conducting the review.'

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