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

News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

    £30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

    Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

    £300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

    Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn