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Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time – Dr Camila Flores

If you are a doctor preparing for your GMC UKMLA PLAB 2 exam – then this blog is a must to help you pass. We are lucky to have Dr Camila Flores – an IMG (International Medical Graduate) doctor who recently passed her PLAB 2 exam – share her own experience of how she prepared and passed first time…

– Register for our next Free UKMLA PLAB 2 Webinar here
– Join the Arora UKMLA PLAB 2 Telegram teaching group here.
– Join Arora UKMLA PLAB 2 Academy+ programme here.

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Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

Introduction

Hi everyone, my name is Camila Flores, and I’m a medical doctor who graduated from Lima, Perú. I finished medical school in December 2016, and after that, I did my year of service to the government in a rural area in the north of Perú. During this year, I was in charge of providing primary care to a specific community.

In 2018, I started working as a general physician in Lima, gaining lots of experience, mainly in inpatient care. 

At the end of 2019, I applied for a master’s degree in Sports Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and I moved to Scotland in October 2020 (yes, in the middle of the pandemic!). It was an incredible experience that made me come out of my comfort zone.

After I finished my master’s, my partner and I decided to stay in Scotland, and that’s when my PLAB journey began.

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

My PLAB Journey

The PLAB journey can feel quite overwhelming sometimes due to all the steps that it requires. 

I remember preparing for my IELTS exam and starting to question myself if I was making the right decision. Of course, everyone’s journey looks different, and I think that’s something that we sometimes forget and end up comparing to our colleagues’ journeys (big mistake!). Once I decided to actually embrace the PLAB journey and learn from every step of it, I started enjoying it. 

I took my PLAB 1 exam in August 2023, and as soon as I got my results, I started researching different PLAB academies. I did a thorough side-by-side analysis (yes, I have an Excel sheet) comparing different academies and what each of them offered as part of their PLAB 2 package. 

Most of the academies seemed to have an entirely scripted approach, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it. Moreover, the entire patient-doctor relationship is something I really enjoy, and I didn’t want to miss that and change the way I communicate with my patients.

Arora Academy+ was the one that resonated the most with me as a medical doctor and as a human being. I started watching Dr Aman’s videos and I could tell he truly enjoys teaching. To be honest, Arora Academy wasn’t my best option because it is far away from where I live, but I knew that it was the one I would enjoy the most and that the extra effort to travel would be worth it!

The first thing that I did once I decided to join Arora Academy+ was to send an email with all my doubts to Dr Aman, and he was keen on replying to every single one of my questions very quickly. If you don’t live in Birmingham like me, they will guide you where to stay and even daily transport from the hotel to the academy can be organised by them (to be honest, this was a game changer for me!).

Before the academy started, they gave me access to my dashboard and all the academic material. It was really helpful to have a schedule of what topics we had to cover before starting the academy. I remember watching all the videos before I went to Birmingham, which helped me have some questions in mind and ask them once I arrived.

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

My Arora Academy Experience

The first day, I met some of my colleagues in the lobby of the hotel; there was a lot of excitement from everyone to start this 10 days course! 

Once we arrived at the academy, the entire team was really lovely and willing to solve any doubts at any point. During the 10 days, we felt like a team already, and we all realised that we had the same goal. Of course, everyone has their background and their reasons for moving to the UK, but it was really lovely to feel this companionship throughout the course. I made some really good friends from the academy, and we actually did some role-play every night at the hotel bar! 

The course was pretty dynamic, and it helped me a lot to tackle my performance anxiety. I would say that’s one of my most significant pieces of advice: to practice as much as possible with colleagues and apply the ‘Arora Bubbles’ taught at the academy. To watch more on the 3 Arora Bubbles of Data Gathering, click here

During the course, you also have the opportunity to practice procedures and SimMan stations. This is really important, as sometimes we assume that because we’ve done these procedures so many times before, we already know how to do them. For me, it was surprising how many things are done differently than in my country, like for example, asking for a chaperone. 

Furthermore, SimMan stations can be overwhelming, and I remember knowing exactly what to do when I was watching a colleague do a scenario. Still, it’s totally different once you are the one in front of the real thing. Arora Academy helped me clarify my ABCDE approach and how to return to my management in case I got blank. That was also something really helpful from this course, and I even joined online on the SimMan day from the next batch!

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

Post Academy

After returning to Glasgow, I had my two mocks (as part of the package), which helped me understand where I needed to practice more and familiarised me with timing and solving many scenarios back to back. 

The feedback was really useful as it was tailored to my needs. I would suggest trying to have some time between your mocks to work on your weaknesses during this time.

Apart from my mocks, I kept practising on a daily basis with some friends from the academy. We had a lot of fun while practising as well, and I was pretty lucky to get their support!

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

My Exam Day

On the exam day, I was extremely surprised at how calm I was; I remembered Dr Pooja’s words on the last day of the academy and tried not to forget that I was already a doctor and all the effort I’d put into this exam. 

It helped a lot to talk to other colleagues, and the staff at the GMC were also quite encouraging! What helped me as well was that once I was in the exam hall, I did some breathing exercises, and as soon as I finished one scenario, I tried to leave all those thoughts (for example: “I could have done this and this better”) behind and focus on the next case.

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

Final thoughts

PLAB 2 is not entirely about medical knowledge, as many people think. Communication and interpersonal skills are really important. Don’t forget to demonstrate that you’re a safe doctor and that you always consider the patient’s needs holistically.

Honestly, I wouldn’t join any other academy for PLAB 2 other than Arora. You won’t regret this, and you’ll also meet amazing people there!

Best of luck to everyone, and don’t forget that you deserve to be here! 🙂

Passing from Peru! How I passed my PLAB 2 exam first time - Dr Camila Flores

How Arora can help you Pass UKMLA PLAB 2

For our most comprehensive ‘all-you-need’ UKMLA PLAB 2 Academy+ Package click here

For all other Arora UKMLA PLAB 2 resources (Gold Package, Mocks, Online course, etc) click here

To register for our next free UKMLA PLAB 2 webinar click here: Next Free Webinar

To join our Free UKMLA PLAB 2 Telegram teaching group click here

For Dr Aman’s UKMLA PLAB 2 YouTube videos click here

Author Bio — Dr Aman Arora

Hello and welcome to Arora Medical Education! I am a Portfolio GP with a 24/7/365 passion for helping you fly through your medical exams and maximise your career. You can find out more about me here.

I’ve been fortunate to teach over 50,000 doctors globally through a combination of face-to-face, online, audio and social teaching, helping them pass exams such as MRCGP AKT and SCAMSRA and PLAB. You can find out more about my previous roles and qualifications here.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions or ideas to help you reach your potential. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Author Bio — Dr Pooja Arora

Dr Pooja Arora is a GP with a background in Medical Politics, where she passionately focuses on improving the opportunities and working conditions for junior doctors. She is proud to hold FRCGP (Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners).

You can find out more about Pooja’s previous roles and qualifications here.

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