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RCGP council member resigns in protest over the MRCGP exam

An RCGP council member has resigned her position due to the college’s handling of the MRCGP exam.

Dr Una Coales, a GP in south London and a recently elected BMA Council member, resigned her post ahead of an RCGP investigation into whether she had breached the college’s code of conduct.

The RCGP received complaints from two people – at least one of whom is a fellow of the college – of Dr Coales criticism of the college in her Twitter posts and blogs, which included vocal opposition to the college’s stance on its membership exam.

Part of the complaint against her was also that she donated money to fund a recent judicial review into the MRCGP, which looked into the disparity in pass rates for white and non-white graduates, but found the college had not directly discriminated against any candidates.

But the RCGP has denied that its investigation into Dr Coales’s conduct was sparked by her decision to donate money to the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) for its judicial review.

In her resignation letter, Dr Coales said: I would like to cancel my membership of both the College Council and the college itself. My main reason for leaving is in protest at the way in which the college has handled both the CSA scandal and the valid concerns I have raised as a council member throughout the years I have served on council.’

She added that the RCGP must make changes to the MRCGP: ‘It is reasonable to have two examiners present in the CSA, to video the CSA exam using digital CCTV recording and to allow access to CCTV recording to ensure a fair appeal process. This has not happened despite my repeated requests over the years on behalf of members to reduce this disparity.’

RCGP honorary secretary professor Nigel Mathers said: ‘We deeply regret that Dr Coales has chosen to resign her membership of the College, and acknowledge the good work she has done for general practice. The disciplinary process was initiated by concerns expressed by College members about various allegations posted on social media by Dr Coales.’