The RCGP and recent media coverage

Publication date: 18 October 2013

RCGP response to recent media coverage

There has recently been national media coverage about the College's MRCGP licensing exam. 

Certain aspects of the MRCGP are currently subject to an ongoing judicial review.

We are defending strongly, in these proceedings, all allegations of discrimination.

It is in inappropriate, given these ongoing proceedings, to comment in any detail but there are some key points that the RCGP wishes to make.

Our examination is in place because as a medical royal college, our principal responsibility is to the nation’s patients.

It is our job to ensure that, through a fair process, all of the doctors who qualify as GPs meet the requisite standards for ensuring safe patient care. That is what the public expects of us, and that is what we deliver.

There are indeed differences in the pass rates between doctors who are from white ethnic backgrounds and those who are from minority ethnic backgrounds, particularly international medical graduates. These are differences that exist across many medical specialities and in higher education more generally.
 
The College has been very open about the differential pass rates for many years, and has commissioned and supported internal and external research to try and identify what the cause (or causes) may be. Indeed, we were also one of the first medical royal colleges to publish the exam results highlighting the differences.
 
As an organisation committed to equality and diversity, we take multiple steps to ensure our exam is fair, including making sure that all of our examiners and role players receive equality and diversity training.
 
We have also ensured that there is a diversity of ethnicity and gender in our examiners and role players – and the percentage of examiners and role players who are from minority ethnic backgrounds is higher than that of the UK population.

The College has been engaging with all stakeholders in relation to the MRCGP since the examination was launched, and this includes the GMC, BMA, deaneries and organisations such as the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), to hear their views and discuss any matters they wish to explore with us.
 
The College welcomed the recent independent and official review by the GMC and collaborated with those carrying out the work by sharing our data sets and inviting them to observe our exam processes.

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 49,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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