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Half of GPs still critical of RCGP's handling of the CSA exam row


My comment,'The High Court Judge made it clear to both the public authority regulator the GMC and the public authority delegated with administering the GP licensing exam, the RCGP, that now was the time to address the disparities in the CSA exam pass rates between British BME and white British graduates, between BME IMGs and white IMGs and between IMGs and white British graduates. Such actions could have, in my opinion, included more detailed exam feedback, installation of CCTV in 39 rooms (estimate £8k) for monitoring for unconscious bias and to provide evidence for fair appeals, revisiting the bar used prior to September 2010 when the pass mark for white British graduates was lower and for IMGs higher so as to reduce the disparity and offering GP trainees the option of the old video module in lieu of CSA for those who suffer from extreme performance anxiety. Understandably some GPs are unhappy with the 'actions' the GMC took by publicising a report on IMGs who sat PLAB and their subsequent performances at subjective Royal College exams like CSA which did not compare UK grads sitting PLAB so was not following a similar cohort throughout. I would hope that at a time when the NHS is haemorrhaging GPs, the RCGP will now adopt some, if not all, of the suggestions I had made known to them well before the legal action took place, so that BAPIO do not feel compelled to continue to pursue legal action through an appeal, an option offered to them by the Judge. Both the RCGP and GMC now have to show appropriate actions taken within a reasonable time, which in my opinion, would mean a year to get this right for all concerned to ensure we are not passing poor doctors or failing good doctors due to inadequate control of unconscious bias. Time to record all 39 CSA rooms, monitor for role player or examiner bias and allow tapes for fair appeals, as is the case with the USMLE licensing exam sat by both US and IMGs, with little disparities in pass rates.

Posted date

25 Apr 2014

Posted time