How to self-study and pass PLAB 2 without going to an academy.
PLAB journey is a costly route, not all of us have the luxury of time and money to spend on many different means of preparation. In my case (and many others with family commitment out there) attending an academy isn’t an option. With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, hopefully, this guidance would come in handy for those preparing for the exam and looking for other options that exclude attending a course physically.
This is the continuation of my previous post:
Gather your resources. I laid out a list of resources and materials I used in my previous post.
Improve IPS skills:
- Watch CSA videos on youtube, aim to learn to perform as well as the acting candidates in many sample CSA videos. I primarily used Hippocratix and Matthew Smith CSA videos as guidance.
- Watch Dr Aman Arora’s videos on youtube. Alternatively, you can purchase his PLAB 2 audiobook or subscribe to I-medics PLAB 2 videos.
- Learn IPS phrases and responses from these.
Study your academies’ notes.
- Learn the general approach of each type of station well e.g. counselling, BBN, emergency, sim-man etc
- Do not memorise the scripts as they are, the examiners WILL know. To avoid sounding scripted, add on your learned IPS phrases and make the scripts personal. This is a lot of work at first but will come naturally as you go on.
- Make a short note on DDx and management of each station. Make separate notes for this or jot them down on the scripts.
- Academies notes focus too much on data gathering/history taking and are flawed in terms of IPS phrases usage, so beware.
- I attached my notes based on Dr Aman Arora’s lectures and CSA sample videos with this post.
Watch examination and clinical skill videos on youtube.
Practice your notes/scripts and examinations/skills with your partner
Repeat 2-3X until you’re confident.
My personal experience:
- I didn’t attend any paid online courses because of time constraint, however, I recommend attending one if this is your first time preparing for PLAB 2. I did listen to a few free online teaching by Dr Maher.
- I prepared in 2.5-3 weeks, this is possible if you can study while ‘working’(I’m a full-time homemaker) simultaneously. A lot of sleepless nights paid off in the end.
- Having started family right after graduation, I have no clinical experience. If you have clinical experience and are competent, then you can pass this exam easily.
- I practised only with my spouse/pretend patient (pillow)
- Instil positive mindset and attitude, if those before us could do it, we too could pass through this exam! Do the best with everything that we have. Encourage our family to support us. I’m grateful for a super supportive spouse and family, without them I won’t be standing where I am now.
- Read a lot of personal experiences from many posters in this group, it helped me immensely in boosting my spirit and motivation, here’s Dr Indrayani’s:
Dr Indrayani’s Experience
Dr Indrayani’s Management