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RCGP and BAPIO collaborate to address pass rate discrepancies

The RCGP and representative bodies for international doctors have announced they will be working ‘in close collaboration’ on identifying and supporting the training of international medical graduates, following the row over the MRCGP exam.

The college, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and the British International Doctors Association announced in a joint statement they would be developing initiatives to help struggling international and black and minority ethnic trainees so they were better prepared for the exam and independent practice, following a joint meeting between the groups.

Options currently being considered include developing new e-learning resources for the Clinical Skills Assessment exam, and reviewing ways to enhance feedback from the CSA exam for candidates.

The announcement comes after a high court judge said ‘the time has come to act’ on differentials in the pass rates between white and non-white trainees taking the CSA exam, but ruled there was no evidence that these were due to racial bias. BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta told Pulse last month that the organisation would be willing to challenge the RCGP ‘if no solution is found’ to the disparity in pass rates for non-white groups.

RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker said: ‘We are very pleased to now be working in partnership with BAPIO, BIDA and other key stakeholders to look at solutions and find the best way of supporting the small number of trainees who fail the CSA component of the MRCGP licensing exam to give them every chance of passing.’

“The college is not at all complacent and we are keen to move forward in a number of areas – not just those that were raised in the Judicial Review – for the benefit of patients and trainees. We discussed this with BAPIO and BIDA and received their support.’

Dr Mehta said he had had a ‘fruitful discussion’ with the college. He said: ‘We are pleased that the college has identified several steps to implement the equality impact assessment.’

‘We also discussed the issue of those trainees who have been removed from the training and the possibility of them getting back in to general practice. We are looking forward to working constructively with the Royal College for fairness and professional excellence in the interests of doctors and patients.’