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Independents' Day

GMC investigates progression of BME doctors through medical school

The GMC is investigating why black and minority ethnic doctors are less likely to progress through postgraduate medical education than their white counterparts.

The regulator said it was concerned about the 'differential attainment' among doctors with 'certain characteristics', as well as to what extent this group was more likely to have their revalidation date deferred.

The investigation will inform the GMC’s major review looking at the number of complaints received from employers against doctors with a BME background, which was first announced in April.

The regulator laid out its plans for the review in its terms of reference document, published this month.

It said: 'As context to this research, it is important to know that we are concerned about, and also investigating, similar patterns of different outcomes related to demographic characteristics, which are observable in other aspects of a doctor’s practice or career.

'This includes what is referred to as differential attainment, whereby on average doctors with certain characteristics are less likely to progress in postgraduate medical education, and differential rates of deferral for doctors with certain characteristics in revalidation.'

Pulse revealed last year that the gap between white doctors passing the MRCGP final exam and their BME peers was the widest ever recorded.

Analysis of pass rates for the Clinical Skills Assessment part of the GP qualification exam in 2017 found 93.8% of white UK-educated trainee GPs passed the exam at the first attempt last year, compared with 80.1% of UK-educated BME trainees.

Meanwhile, as part of an investigation earlier this year, Professor Aneez Esmail, a Manchester GP and leading expert on racism in the NHS, told Pulse there is a bias against BME students applying to medical school.

The GMC review, which is being led by researchers Roger Kline and Dr Doyin Atewologun, will also look into ‘what constitutes good practice in terms of managing concerns about a doctor’s fitness to practice within employers/designated bodies’.

The latest GMC report looking at the state of medical education and practice found that BME GPs are 20% more likely to face a patient complaint and 30% more likely to be investigated by the GMC.

Susan Goldsmith, the GMC’s chief operating officer, said: ‘We understand and value the diversity within the medical profession and recognise the importance of supporting doctors to serve a diverse population across the UK.

‘We have already made a lot of progress in this very important area, but there is more we can do.’ 

GMC's independent review into gross negligence manslaughter

The GMC first announced its review of gross negligence manslaughter in the medical profession at the end of January this year.

Dame Clare Marx was initially appointed chair of the review but after she was appointed incoming chair of the GMC in July, the independent review was taken over by cardiac surgeon Leslie Hamilton.

Its announcement of a review followed a wave of criticism against the GMC from the medical profession for taking a case to the High Court in an attempt to ensure Nigerian-born Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba remains struck off the register after she was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter.

Dr Bawa-Garba won leave to appeal the decision in March on the basis that her case met the second appeal test, which requires the case to ‘have a real prospect of success’ and ‘raise an important point of principle or practice’ or requires ‘some other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear it’.

The appeal hearing was held at the end of July, with the judges reserving their decision.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Then proceed to look at how much abuse from NHSE and CCG officials BME GPs get in meetings, with LMCs goons sitting there just gaping not willing to protest against this abuse. Also, how much funding BMEs get as compared to white british colleagues irrespective of what mix of population they have.
    Does anybody know that under FOI, it is impossible to get information about data on your Open Exeter statements if you are a BME:
    Open Exeter
    NHS Digital
    NHS Business Services
    All have informed - under FPOI requests- they do not hold this data published on statements that every GP gets each month.
    You want a more corrupt set up? Sorry, looking around third or fourth world countries is not necessary - just look at NHS especially in Kent - and you will find the rotten muck, boasted of as 'world class NHS' right here.

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  • MRCGP Statistics 2015-16: Annual Report on the AKT and CSA - stick this into Google and have a look at the AKT (machine marked) results. This is a very complicated and poorly understood area and the usual suspects shrieking is not of any benefit to anyone.

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  • AlanAlmond

    GMC turning its attention this way creeps me out. They f£&k up everything they get involved in, this will be no different. Medicine has been regulated and analysed to virtual suffocation in the U.K. A kack-handed, clueless, face saving, politically motivated GMC will roll over this issue and alienate everyone BME and white the both together. No one so divisive as the GMC. Not an organisation that will bring harmony nor reassurance.

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  • Sounds as if the GMC are going to stalk their prey better

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  • When does the Dr BG judgement come out,this will colour the future relationship between the profession and the state.This is the GMC looking as though it gives a s*** when we all know it doesnt.Seem to be pigs in the trough.

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  • Vinci Ho

    In a way , I am keeping an open mind about this . The truth is , disparities like this have long existed for a long time in our modern human history. The irony is only under this currently divisive and polarised atmosphere of the world , we have started to put all these issues under our microscopes . From Me Too hashtag movement, Labour Party’s refusal to accept full IHRA definition of antisemitism , Mr Johnson’s refusal to apologise for his comments on burkas , to issues in our realm like unconscious bias of RCGP branded by a judge and various GMC controversies on BME doctors ; we seem to have more opportunities and platforms to debate.
    The reflex question from many scholars to the current state of the world , ‘Is democracy and liberty, as we know , dying and replaced by illiberal democracy?’
    I would say our democracy just needs an upgrade to conform and adapt to the 21st century new technology-dominant human culture.
    There is no soul if you stop believing what you do and say everyday ......

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  • Vinci Ho

    We allow our differences and disputes to ferment into division and prejudice. With the spice of arrogance and bigotry , it leads to various actions and inactions on each other .
    Perhaps , this is the historic time to stop this fermentation.....

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  • This comment has been removed.

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  • Attitude and arrogance makes it easy for you to look down on others.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Sadly I really don’t think we’re up to the debate. Crass simplistic and divisive arguments are pretty routine. People run to put themselves on one side of the argument or the other and many folk seem eager to take offence at the slightest opportunity. You could make this point of any of our societies’ issues be it race, religion, gender or sexuality. Everybody wants to be angry. As a society our lives are as rich materially and in knowledge as they have ever been at any time in human history and still we strive to feel aggrieved and find fault and difference in one anorher. Turn on the telly, read a newspaper or tune into the latest social media a collective group we (people in the western world in 2018) are the over indulged. I don’t believe we have the self understanding to work this out. Pick a few comments from here on pulse and you get angry fools, in equal measure on both sides of every debate. I’m sorry we don’t have the humility to truly crack this one.

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