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International doctors granted judicial review of the MRCGP exam

Exclusive A judicial review against the RCGP has been given the go-ahead after the courts granted an international doctors’ group permission to challenge the college over perceived bias in its MRCGP exams.

Pulse has learnt the administrative court has accepted this week that the RCGP may have a case to answer surrounding its MRCGP exams, which have shown huge discrepancies in the pass rates between UK graduates and overseas graduates.

However, the court rejected the application from the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin to include the GMC in the claim, although BAPIO is considering whether to appeal this decision.

This comes as the GMC prepares to publish the results from a review it has commissioned into the exams by Professor Aneez Esmail.

The exams have been the subject of much controversy after they showed that the Clinical Skills Assessment component (CSA) revealed that 65.3% of non-UK graduates failed the exam, compared with 9.9% of UK graduates.

It also showed a discrepancy between white UK graduates, with a failure rate of 5.8% and black UK graduates, with a failure rate of 24.4%.

Pulse reported in February that BAPIO had commenced legal action against the RCGP after a crunch meeting with the College, deaneries and the BMA failed to reach agreement about a way forward.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, the head of BAPIO, said: ‘I’m delighted that the judge and has seen and said there is a case against the RCGP. Our legal team… are considering whether to appeal to include the GMC into this judicial review.’

An RCGP spokesperson said they would comply with any instructions from the courts: ‘We have not yet received official notification from the courts but will obviously comply with any instructions.

‘We take equality and diversity issues very seriously and strongly refute any allegations that the MRCGP exam is discriminatory.’

The GMC was approached, but declined to comment before publication.

Readers' comments (159)

  • Vinci Ho

    Probably the most interesting and 'juicy' news of the day.....

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  • It's about time. I hope justice will be served and all those harmed by this unfair exam get their justice. No doubt the usual people will come out saying how wonderful and fair the whole thing is. It is dreadful how long trainees have waited to get here. Good luck to all those who have been wronged. Please donate everyone to bapios cause to get these wronged trainees justice.

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  • well done pulse. Pulse has done an excellent job of voicing the trainees' position and the injustice of this situation

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  • I do not think this news will get a lot of comments. The poor affected trainees are left with no morale, money or willingness to pursue this matter anymore. Many, probably have left the country.

    Of course, RCGP strongly refute any allegations that the MRCGP exam is discriminatory.

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  • At least let the world know about the hidden agendas of the RCGP.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • what a relief

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  • The akt also has the same failure rates for oversees trained doctor. The statistics are there. See them for yourself on the rcgp annual examination reports year after year. The CSa is effectively an English Language test as well as clinical exam. So it should be. Rcgp is the most inspirational organisation I have ever worked for and it will hopefully keep its head high

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  • Ps trained under not technically worked for ....

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  • Anonymous | 26 July 2013 9:22pm-Have you ever passed an English language test? I doubt it. Mind you English language is not part of the GP curriculum.

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  • How long Juidicial review usually takes.

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