Career Pathways & Job Opportunities After PLAB Exam | Academically

Exploring Career Pathways: Job Opportunities After the PLAB Exam

Jun 01, 2024 3 min read
Job Opportunities After PLAB Exam

Key Takeaways:

  • Completing PLAB often leads to entry into Foundation Year 1 (F1) training, providing practical experience in various medical disciplines.
  • Following the foundation year, doctors can pursue specialised training (ST1-3) in their chosen medical field, gearing towards a specific career path.
  • Doctors have to apply for GMC registration to work in the UK.

Job options after the PLAB exam 


Congratulations on completing the challenging PLAB 2 exam! 

The rollercoaster of emotions, from uncertainty in some stations to confidently acing others, is a testament to your resilience and dedication. 

Now that this milestone is behind you, it's time to explore the myriad of job options that await you in the dynamic field of medicine. 

This blog will explore the exciting prospects that follow the PLAB exam, shedding light on various avenues and opportunities that align with your newly acquired skills and expertise.

 Whether you are considering clinical practice, further specialisation, or research, this guide will navigate you through the diverse and rewarding career paths that open up post-PLAB.

Things To Do After PLAB 2 Results

First, let us focus on what to do once you receive your PLAB 2 results.

GMC Registration 

- Begin planning for your General Medical Council (GMC) registration if you haven't already. This involves gathering the necessary evidence, such as proof of identity, qualification, and language proficiency.
- Ensure you understand the GMC registration process, including submitting required documents and any associated fees.

NHS Jobs Profile and CV Creation

- Set up a profile on the NHS Jobs website, the primary platform for healthcare job opportunities in the UK. This will allow you to apply for National Health Service (NHS) positions.
- Create a comprehensive and well-organised Curriculum Vitae (CV). Highlight your education, clinical experience, and any relevant skills or certifications. Tailor your CV to showcase your strengths and suitability for the roles you are interested in.

Job Application Preparation

  • Research and identify job opportunities that align with your career goals and interests. This can include roles in various specialties or locations within the NHS.
  • Note the closing dates for job applications and set up a schedule to ensure timely submissions. Paying attention to deadlines could mean not missing out on valuable opportunities.

Application Submission

  • Once you have identified suitable positions, submit your applications through the NHS Jobs platform or the respective application channels provided by the hiring institutions.
  • Pay close attention to the application requirements and ensure all necessary documents, such as your CV and supporting information, are attached.

Prepare for Interviews

  • Be ready for potential interviews by reviewing common interview questions, reflecting on your experiences, and practising your responses.
  • Research the institutions or healthcare settings where you apply to demonstrate your interest during interviews.

Stay Informed About Visas and Work Regulations

  • Ensure you are familiar with visa requirements and work regulations applicable to international medical graduates working in the UK. 
  • Stay informed about any changes in immigration policies.

UK Medical Training After PLAB 2

After passing PLAB 2, international medical graduates enter the next phase of their journey within the UK medical system. This typically involves undertaking further training and gaining hands-on clinical experience. The options include

Foundation Year 1 (F1) Training

The journey often begins with Foundation Year 1 (F1) training, where doctors gain hands-on experience in various medical specialties. This training is essential for building a solid foundation and adapting to the UK healthcare system.

Foundation Year 1 (F1) training is a crucial phase in the medical career trajectory, marking the transition from medical school to independent clinical practice for newly qualified doctors. 

This one-year program involves rotations across various medical specialties, fostering a broad understanding of healthcare. 

Under supervision, F1 doctors actively participate in patient care, refining clinical skills and communication. 

Successful completion is a prerequisite for complete registration, symbolising the readiness of doctors to embark on their medical careers with a solid foundation in clinical practice and professionalism.

Core Medical Training (CMT) and Core Surgical Training (CST)

Following F1, doctors can choose between Core Medical Training (CMT) or Core Surgical Training (CST) based on their interests.

 CMT prepares doctors for internal medicine, while CST is tailored for those aspiring to become surgeons in the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP). These programs lay the groundwork for specialised training.

Conversely, CST is a two-year initiative focused on surgical disciplines, providing junior doctors with hands-on experience in operating theatres and outpatient settings. 

Both programs incorporate rotations, supervision by experienced consultants, educational components, assessments, and an emphasis on professional development. 

Completing CMT or CST is a crucial prerequisite for progression into higher levels of specialised training, laying the groundwork for future careers in medical or surgical fields.

Specialty Training

Following the completion of core training, doctors can enter specialty training programs, a phase that marks a more focused and in-depth exploration of specific medical disciplines.

 This stage is crucial for those seeking advanced expertise and career advancement within their chosen fields. 

Specialty training encompasses a wide range of medical specialties, including but not limited to cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, and various surgical disciplines. 

The training is often structured to include a combination of clinical practice, research opportunities, and further educational components. 

Trainees work closely with experienced consultants and specialists, refining their skills and knowledge to become experts in their chosen specialties. 

Completing specialty training leads to certification in the respective specialty, allowing doctors to practice independently as consultants or pursue additional sub-specialisation if desired. 

Job Options After PLAB 2

General Practice (GP) Training

General Practice (GP) training is a natural choice for those inclined towards the frontlines of healthcare. 

This dynamic program combines hands-on clinical experience with educational courses, preparing doctors to become skilled General Practitioners. 

It's a journey into the heartbeat of primary care, offering a fulfilling career path as a frontline healthcare provider.

Clinical Fellowships

Clinical fellowships are like remarkable learning journeys for doctors. They let doctors focus on areas of medicine they love and want to learn more about. 

Doctors participate in new and important discoveries in their chosen fields during these fellowships. It's an excellent chance for them to become leaders and experts in that specific area of medicine.

Research Opportunities

For curious minds and aspiring researchers, engaging in research opens doors to shaping the future of healthcare. 

Research opportunities abound, providing a platform for doctors to contribute significantly to medical knowledge, drive innovation, and play a pivotal role in advancing the field.

Locum and Staff Grade Positions

Before or during specialty training, doctors may choose to explore the flexibility and diverse exposure offered by locum and staff-grade positions. 

These roles provide a chance to gain valuable clinical experiences across different healthcare settings, contributing to a well-rounded medical career.

International Health Opportunities

PLAB-certified doctors can spread their wings globally, participating in international health opportunities. 

Whether through humanitarian projects or contributing to global health initiatives, this path allows for a unique blend of medical expertise and altruism, making a positive impact on healthcare worldwide.

Medical Education

For those passionate about teaching and mentoring, the world of medical education awaits. Becoming an educator involves

  • Nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals.
  • Contributing to the continuous development of medical knowledge.
  • Shaping the future leaders of the healthcare landscape.
PLAB Exam Preparation Course


Beyond the PLAB exam lies a world of possibilities in the ever-evolving field of medicine. From the frontlines of primary care to specialised research, global health initiatives, and educational leadership, each path offers a unique and fulfilling journey. 

As doctors embark on these diverse avenues, they contribute to their professional growth and play a vital role in shaping the future of healthcare for generations to come. 

The adventure continues, and the possibilities are boundless. The road post-PLAB is an invitation to a fulfilling and dynamic career where the pursuit of knowledge and the commitment to patient care intertwine to create a meaningful and impactful medical journey.

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Dr. Indu K
Dr. Indu K
about the author

Dr. Indu K is a dentist with one year of clinical experience. She seamlessly transitioned into content writing three years ago. Her passion lies in making complex medical information accessible to everyone. She uses her unique blend of medical knowledge and exceptional writing skills to bridge the gap between healthcare and the general audience.