My experience with Aspire📍
I want to share my Plab 2 experience will all of my colleagues. I went and did my course at an academy that has open quite recently, and it has a lot of publicity on facebook these days. I’m sure you are all aware that this is a post about ASPIRE PLAB2 academy. I failed my Plab2 and I should say of course, all of this was my fault and I don’t want to blame anyone. Now I have to take another course and book another exam with the burden of all my financial issues, and it has affected me emotionally also. There are just some things which are still unclear to me and have gone unanswered so I want to share my experience to enlighten my fellow colleagues.
First of all, the main and probably the most important aspect of this all is that the main course leader was never there during my time, and I later found out that due to some issues with the GMC and his UK visa he is taking the plab2 course in other countries. How can you expect anything good when you yourself are not present in the academy that is run under your name??
Let me tell you a little bit more about the people who actually work there:
Dr Ankur Garg, the course leader. The most disturbing aspect is that this individual himself does not have a GMC registration and a license to practice in the UK! The goal we are all fighting for!
He has passed his Plab2 exam in 2016 on his second attempt and it is almost 2019 now meaning 3 years without a license. He is in India at the moment and because he does not have GMC registration, he can’t get a job in the UK. Don’t you think that someone who doesn’t even have a GMC license himself should not be teaching people who are going to be working in the NHS??
Dr Garg does not even exist in his own academy, he doesn’t teach nor does he even come into his own academy. God knows why??
I think his students and other colleagues deserve an explanation as to why he does not actually have a license. Must be a pretty important reason as to why GMC don’t grant him a license and I think we deserve to know why. I am sure a lot of you are wondering where this comes from by me saying that he does not have a license, well I will provide you with a link to the GMC website which has a list of GMC registered doctors and you can see for yourselves. I even heard that in his webinar on the 29th November Dr Ankur said himself that he is in India at the moment and has some issues.
When I was in the academy, we were told that dr Ankur has some health issues and that’s why he doesn’t show up in the academy but he himself mentioned in his webinar that he will be travelling to other countries! Don’t you think this is deceiving?
To check if a doctor has GMC licence in the UK, simply click on the link below, “the medical register” page will open up and then click on “check a doctor’s registration status”.
The next individual is called, Dr Nikhilesh Rao, who failed his Plab2 exam 2 times before passing! Seems to be a trend in this academy! The academy is a little ill prepared it seems, there’s no simman there and Dr Rao teaches the simman, and we always get told by him, that all the times he’s done the exam the simman has not appeared and we shouldn’t worry and reassures us that the simman won’t come in the exam! Not very reassuring if you ask me!! Instead they ask Dr Bhana to lie down on a couch and act as the simman, then have someone else to hold a piece of paper instead of a monitor and another to shout as the simman. Dr Rao, who makes the bold claim that the simman never comes up and it is nothing to worry about, well I can tell you that the simman came in the exam for me and I failed that station with 0 out of 12. Either you do not have updated information about the plab2 exam or you are lying to us in the most distasteful way just to save your own business because you realise that foreign doctors are so desperate to achieve their Plab2 goals. This is deceiving! Just in case you did not know, here is a news flash for you, not only does the simman show up in the exam but in fact the GMC has increased the number of Simman stations.
I think that Dr Rao is working in the NHS and I think he started maybe a couple of months ago. Putting aside that he failed the PLAB2 twice and that he’s started working in the NHS only a couple of months ago, he can’t even teach! His voice tone is so quiet and its blatant that he is not confident in what he does. I think when it comes to slating other academies their voices seem to be loud! All this is so unprofessional and unethical it’s honestly beyond your imagination.
Then there’s Dr As’ad Bhana who we do not know if he’s given the Plab2, or if he has and has not passed or if he too is not eligible for GMC registration, still a mystery to us all! He is the one who’s running the academy currently, someone who we don’t even know has even given their PLAB2 or not!! And let’s not forget, he has another important role being the Simman of the academy!! This is the interesting thing, I have been tracking Dr Asa’ad and I’ve noticed that he has been wondering in these PLAB2 groups, promoting their academy and snatches candidates for their academy. I even heard that he’s doing the same thing on Whatsapp groups as well!
Interestingly enough, the people who now “teach” there attempted the Plab several times or have only recently passed their Plab2 exams! Why did they struggle so much themselves?? Do you think that someone who has recently passed their Plab exam can be in a position to teach us or deliver anything to us?? On top of all that most of them don’t even work in this country, they don’t have the hands on experience with the NHS!!
I don’t mean to be rude, but this academy is run by a bunch of unprofessional individuals who are playing with the lives and livelihoods of overseas doctors. There is no indication of any commitment. Their main goal is making business, which I do not have any issues with but I wish that if that was their main commitment they could do it properly.
I wish that was the end of the story, but sadly it is not. I was a witness to misbehaviour and harassment by one of the tutors towards one of the lady doctors, unfortunately I do not have consent from the lady doctor to disclose the full details of the story. I will leave that here and not continue with it.
Let me tell you about their teaching style. They don’t teach anything from day one, they only bad mouth other academies. When I compare my teaching experience to my colleagues who have gone to other academies, Swamy, Hamed and Samson, I can see that they have had proper training and guidance plus they had experienced teachers and they know how to properly approach each station and they know the NHS protocols and guidelines fully. The only “teaching” were bullet pointed notes which were summarised and the rest was briefly shown to us on a powerpoint. They didn’t teach us how to deal with the stations, we had to memorise the scripts without any logic or reasoning. They seem to take the Plab2 exam really easy. From day 1 they wanted us to go and practice… when we didn’t know what to practice or have any idea about this exam! Their teaching methods are very inefficient. It seemed that we were in a theatre play!
I don’t know if there are any laws in the UK preventing these things and the things these people are promising us, this almost feels like fraud the way that they are tricking doctors coming from abroad. I completely blame myself for my Plab2 fail result, and I also blame myself for going somewhere which I knew had just started out. However, after my exam I realised the consequences of going to somewhere that has only recently started working and being taught by people who have passed their Plab2 exams a few months ago themselves and have no NHS experience and some of them don’t even have a license INCLUDING the course owner dr Ankur Garg! This is a question I ask myself that someone like him who cannot get registered in the UK can be in a position to teach others who are planning to complete their Plab2 journey and their goal is actually to have GMC registration to practice in this country.
Maybe someone like Dr Ankur can come online and say some things that could be helpful, I don’t think this is something extraordinary, ANYONE who passes the Plab exam or has Plab2 experience can do the same for hours on end. But running an academy needs professionalism, commitment, stability however these are traits which he does not have (because he has no GMC license and because he can’t work here for that reason he can’t get a visa to come to the UK).
He had a visa up until August because he was studying over here, but after August when I presume his visa ran out he has had to leave the country and now he can’t come back. I am just concerned that if the GMC would not allow someone to get registered they must have a strong enough reason to not to, do you not think that before we can trust this person to teach us, we deserve an explanation as to why this person was not allowed to become registered??
It could be anything from fraud to assault and we’re going to instead blindly trust that person without asking??? Have you ever asked yourself why some overseas doctors should pay someone who does not have a valid visa for the UK and has no GMC license. What happens if he just stops, what happens then? Who is responsible?
I do not think that I’m asking much and I’m sure that these questions are not only my concern. I came across a lot of people whether in real life or on social media who have the exact same questions and have the same concerns. I have seen so many times that they have also posted these questions on different groups especially PLAB group on facebook but their post has been deleted or they’re blocked. Because these people have so many fake accounts that they come and attack and report each post and try and get the post deleted in the most cowardly way. Bearing this in mind, I’ll put this message on the three main academy PLAB groups, dr Swamy, dr Hamed and dr Samson and I hope that they do not have a conservative approach to this and not to delete my post. I hope that they allow for others to know the truth and go and research for themselves and not to choose their academy blindly and because of marketing tactics.
From my personal experience I can tell you to not rely on social media. When choosing your Plab2 course, talk to genuine people who have taken the course elsewhere and listen to their advice, theres surely so many of them in your medical school and surely friends or family who have been through this.
Please read the reviews of genuine and real people on academies’ facebook groups. Because in Facebook groups nowadays theres so many fake accounts who promote the academy I regretfully went to.
I will deactivate the comments in this post only because I just want to tell you my honest opinion and what I have experienced, not to create arguments and promote anyone.
I know this post will make some people upset but I found it necessary to share this information. Please don’t ask me in the private messages either where I am planning on going next, I don’t wish to enclose that information with anyone. With this post I will also provide a link to the GMC website for those who want to see the list of the registered doctors.
My experience with Aspire📍