PLAB Content aim

The PLAB testing has four domains which will be covered in the exam:

  1. Knowledge, skills and performance
  2. Safety and quality
  3. Communication, partnership and teamwork
  4. Maintaining trust

The four domains detailed above relate directly to those outlined in the GMC’s good medical practice

This is the GMC’s core guidance which all registered doctors are expected to adhere to; therefore, the PLAB exam tests your knowledge of the key principles outlined in the guidance, and your ability to apply these. 

For this reason, the GMC advises familiarising yourself with the good medical practice document before reading the PLAB test blueprint.

The aim of the PLAB Part 1 exam is to assess a doctor's ability to apply their medical knowledge, analytical and critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities to real-world medical scenarios. The exam is designed to test a candidate's understanding of the scientific basis of medical practice, as well as their ability to interpret and apply evidence-based medical research.

The PLAB Part 1 exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover a broad range of medical topics, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology, and clinical sciences. The questions are designed to test a candidate's knowledge of both common and uncommon medical conditions, as well as their ability to apply their knowledge to diagnose and treat patients.

In addition to testing a candidate's medical knowledge, the PLAB Part 1 exam also assesses their ability to apply ethical and legal principles to medical practice. This includes their knowledge of medical law, patient consent, confidentiality, and professional conduct.

Ultimately, the aim of the PLAB Part 1 exam is to ensure that doctors who wish to practice in the UK have the necessary medical knowledge and skills to provide safe, effective, and high-quality care to patients. By testing a candidate's ability to think critically, apply evidence-based medicine, and make sound medical decisions, the exam aims to ensure that doctors practicing in the UK meet the highest standards of medical practice and professionalism.