GPs spot drink problems in less than one in 60 sufferers
The old boys' network is alive and well among consultants, but relatively absent from general practice, research has indicated.
A study of the BMA's cohort of 486 graduates from medical school in 1995 found more than three-quarters of consultants went to a private school. In contrast, two-thirds of GPs among the group went to a state school.
Author Professor Rosemary Crompton, professor of sociology at City University, said past studies had shown patronage was extremely important in getting promoted through medical specialties.
She said: 'Given that the nature of patronage depends on interpersonal relationships, going to a particular type of school puts you in a network.'
Dr Richard Stevens, a GP in Oxford who was privately educated, said the preference of his peers for hospital jobs could be linked to perceived extra prestige. He added: 'If you are comfortable operating in a hierarchical atmosphere then you might feel more comfortable working in a hospital.'
Dr Tom Coffey, a GP in Wandsworth, south London, who attended a state school, said the cohort entered medicine at a time when general practice was less popular.