Evaluating the performance of ChatGPT-4 on the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment

U hin Lai, Keng sam Wu, Ting-Yu Hsu, Jessie kai ching Kan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Recent developments in artificial intelligence large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, have allowed for the understanding and generation of human-like text. Studies have found LLMs abilities to perform well in various examinations including law, business and medicine. This study aims to evaluate the performance of ChatGPT in the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA).

Methods: Two publicly available UKMLA papers consisting of 200 single-best-answer (SBA) questions were screened. Nine SBAs were omitted as they contained images that were not suitable for input. Each question was assigned a specialty based on the UKMLA content map published by the General Medical Council. A total of 191 SBAs were inputted in ChatGPT-4 through three attempts over the course of 3 weeks (once per week).

Results: ChatGPT scored 74.9% (143/191), 78.0% (149/191) and 75.6% (145/191) on three attempts, respectively. The average of all three attempts was 76.3% (437/573) with a 95% confidence interval of (74.46% and 78.08%). ChatGPT answered 129 SBAs correctly and 32 SBAs incorrectly on all three attempts. On three attempts, ChatGPT performed well in mental health (8/9 SBAs), cancer (11/14 SBAs) and cardiovascular (10/13 SBAs). On three attempts, ChatGPT did not perform well in clinical haematology (3/7 SBAs), endocrine and metabolic (2/5 SBAs) and gastrointestinal including liver (3/10 SBAs). Regarding to response consistency, ChatGPT provided correct answers consistently in 67.5% (129/191) of SBAs but provided incorrect answers consistently in 12.6% (24/191) and inconsistent response in 19.9% (38/191) of SBAs, respectively.

Discussion and conclusion: This study suggests ChatGPT performs well in the UKMLA. There may be a potential correlation between specialty performance. LLMs ability to correctly answer SBAs suggests that it could be utilised as a supplementary learning tool in medical education with appropriate medical educator supervision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1240915
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 Lai, Wu, Hsu and Kan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • ChatGPT
  • Medical Licensing Examination
  • United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment
  • assessment
  • examination
  • medical education
  • medicine


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