The Importance Of Communication in PLAB 2

The Importance Of Communication in PLAB 2

- By Maria A (3 articles)

The Importance of communication in PLAB 2

Ever wondered if communication is important when it comes to PLAB 2 and how to improve it? Well in this Blog Post I will help answer some of your questions.

What exactly is PLAB 2?

PLAB 2 is an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). It’s made up of 16 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes and aims to reflect real life settings including a mock consultation or an acute ward.

Why are communication skills important for PLAB 2?

Verbal Communication in English is often where IMGs have the most difficulty during the PLAB 2 exam. Many IMGs resort to memorising scripts and repeating stock phrases as they are often taught to at some PLAB 2 academies. However, this sounds unnatural, insincere, and sometimes the responses do not match what the patient has actually said. The examiner can tell when you’re not truly interacting with the patient and can mark you down for this.

How to improve your communication skills

1.   Listen, listen and listen

People want to know that they are being heard. Really listen to what the other person is saying, instead of preparing your response. Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. At that moment, the person speaking to you should be the most important person to you.

2.   Who you are talking to matters

It is okay to use acronyms and informal language when you are communicating with a friend, but if you are communicating with a colleague or patient, then being too formal or informal will likely be considered inappropriate.

3.   Body Language matters

This is important for face-to-face meetings and video conferencing. Make sure that you appear accessible and that you have open body language. This means that you should not cross your arms and that you keep eye contact so that your colleague or patient knows that you are paying attention.

4.   Be brief, yet specific

For written and verbal communication, practice being brief and specific enough that you provide enough information for the other person to understand what you are trying to say. And if you are responding to an email, make sure that you read the entire information before asking questions and explaining things. With enough practice, you will learn how much is appropriate.

5.   Write things down

Taking notes while you are speaking with your patient will mean that there’s less work for your memory to do. It will also help you with summing up your consultation and for checking that you understood what was being said during the conversation.

6.   Think before you speak

Always pause before you speak, not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it so that your patient feels comfortable having a chat with you.

7.   Maintain a positive attitude and smile

In person and over the phone, remember your smile because your positive attitude will shine through and the other person will know it. When you smile often and exude a positive attitude, people will respond positively to you.



As you can see communication is very when it comes to doing anything and even if there’s room for improvement, it is never too late.


Next week Sunday 26th September, 2021, we have a Communication and Consultations Workshop for Doctors just like you. Register to come along or find out more about that here:


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