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GMC to ask why BME doctors face more complaints than white colleagues


I suspect that even if you stripped out all ethnic data from the complaint system and let the GMC process roll with no-one being aware of the background of the Dr you’d still find more BME Drs were found at fault. The reason being that I suspect BME Drs are more likely to have been complained about in the first place. Take two identical Drs, identical in every way except for their accent or the colour of their skin. Both Drs are lacking in exactly the same way. Both are rude and rushed and rub the patient up the wrong way. As a pure statistical fact because of the make up of the population the patient has about 7-8/10 probability of being white. Two identical Drs, same error, only the colour of their skin or their accent to distinguish them. I’d suggest the white Dr has a better chance of getting away with it than the non white one. Why? Because it’s more likely that the patient with find something about them that they can identify with, they might remind them of their auntie Margret, or their grumpy grandfather, and statistically there’re more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. The non white Dr doesn’t have this to fall back on, what’s more the patient might be overly racist, or just simply unable to match them to a comfortable reassuring positive stereotype. There in lies the problem, both Drs were crap, only the unfortunate BME Dr isn’t given the benefit of the doubt with the same frequency. Unless this is explicitly taken into account, masking of the ethnicity of the Dr to the GMC wont work. It won’t work because the majority of the population will identify with what they know and mistrust what they don’t’s sad, it’s structural societal racism and probably present in most societies but it’s a reflection of human nature. This needs to be adjusted for in the assessment process.

Posted date

23 Apr 2018

Posted time