In my country, 3rd year MBBS is the Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry class. I just want to be sure that is what you are referring to.
Well, choosing PLAB or USMLE depends on:
the country you wish to be in. PLAB is for the doctors who want to practice in the UK. In 2022, the GMC ( General Medical Council UK) will introduce UKMLA which is like a unified exam for both the IMG doctors and the UK-schooled doctors. USMLE is for doctors who wish to practice in the US of America.
the monetary budget: don’t get me wrong, both exams are capital intensive. PLAB is divided into PLAB 1 and 2, PLAB 1 costs about 460 pounds, while PLAB 2 costs about 860 pounds. USMLE has 4 steps (1, 2CK, 2CS,3), i think you can get a residency slot without step 3. Step 1 $630, Step 2 CK $630, Step 2 CS $1290. Before you start PLAB, you will need to write the IELTS (except your country is recognized as an English speaking country and you can prove that you studied in English).
Time: PLAB takes less time to achieve compared to USMLE. USMLE is rigorous and time-intensive.
Residency: some people like the idea of going straight into residency and USMLE offers you that (of course you need to score high). With PLAB, you may have to work as a medical officer or in a non-training post and then apply for residency training. In both countries, getting residency into specialties like surgery and neurosurgery can be very hard (you will need to work very hard).
Money: UK pays lesser than the US. The good side is that with your PLAB and GMC registration + years of experience in the UK, you can work in Australia or Canada. So you are not at a loss.
finally, i will say it is up to you. I hope i have been able to help you
Emelda Ojukwu, former Medical Doctor at Royal Derby Hospital (2019-2020)
Source: Quora Digest