Ethnic doctors far less likely to reach senior posts in NHS

 

White doctors are three times more likely to be picked for senior hospital jobs than doctors from ethnic minorities, an investigation has found.

Health leaders called for an investigation into the figures, which the NHS Employers organisation said “added weight to concerns around discrimination” in the health service.

Black doctors were the least likely to secure consultant, specialist or trust doctor roles in 2012, according to the respected BMJ Careers journal, with a success rate of only 2.7 per cent. White candidates for the same jobs in 50 NHS trusts in England had success rates of nearly 14 per cent. Mixed ethnicity and Asian doctors were also much less likely to win senior positions than their white colleagues.

Another paper, also published today in bmj.com, found that ethnic minority doctors were much more likely to fail the exam required to practice as a GP. The researchers said they “cannot exclude subjective bias owing to racial discrimination in the marking of the clinical skills assessment” as a reason for the discrepancy.

The paper follows a General Medical Council review of the exam, which is run by the Royal College of General Practitioners, following concerns about failure rates among doctors who qualified outside the UK, as well as among UK-trained doctors from black or other ethnic minority backgrounds.

In his report for the GMC, Aneez Esmail, Professor of general practice at the University of Manchester, said that more needed to be done to acknowledge that candidates trained overseas may require more training and support.

Ethnic minority GP candidates trained in the UK were four times more likely to fail than their white UK-trained colleagues at the first attempt, but these differences disappeared at the second attempt, Professor Esmail said.

“We cannot ascertain if the standardised patients (played by actors) behave differently in front of candidates from non-white ethnic groups. Nor can we confidently exclude bias from the examiners in the way that they assess non-white candidates,” Professor Esmail said.

The BMJ Careers investigation found only 4.8 per cent of applicants to senior doctor roles from ethnic minority backgrounds were successful in 2012.

The British Medical Association called the findings concerning and called for further investigation.

Professor Carol Baxter, head of equality, diversity and human rights at NHS Employers, said: “This is new evidence from respected academics adding weight to concerns around discrimination. Health organisations will want to explore what needs to change to ensure the process is fair and is seen to be fair. People from diverse backgrounds really are the lifeblood of the NHS and we must do everything we can, not only to promote equality but to ensure potential applicants know they are welcome.”

Clare Gerada is head of the Royal College of General Practitioners Clare Gerada is head of the Royal College of General Practitioners  

Commentary: Bias must not affect medical graduates

I am the daughter of a general practitioner who came from Malta to set up in Peterborough.

Our health service increasingly relies heavily on care from doctors and nurses from across the world.

The only discrimination I have witnessed is sex discrimination. However, in the past there has been some evidence of racial bias. In the early 1990s, Dr Sam Everington sent dummy CVs to medical schools, where the surname was the only difference, demonstrating that those with foreign-sounding surnames faced discrimination.

My college takes robust steps to ensure that bias does not affect medical graduates.

Clare Gerada is head of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
Tattoo enthusiast Cammy Stewart poses for a portrait during the Great British Tattoo Show
In picturesThe Great British Tattoo Show
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?