UK docs, medical students’ academic performance varies by ethnicity

March 9th, 2011 - 6:27 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 9 (ANI): A new study has found that UK trained doctors and medical students from minority ethnic groups tend to underperform academically compared with their white counterparts.

This attainment gap has persisted for many years and must be tackled to ensure a fair and just method of training and assessing current and future doctors, say the authors.

Researchers at University College London analyzed the results of 22 reports comparing the academic performance of 23,742 medical students and UK trained doctors from different ethnic groups.

They found that candidates of non-white ethnicity underperformed compared with white candidates.

The effect was statistically significant and widespread across different medical schools, different types of exam (including those marked by machines), and in both undergraduate and postgraduate assessments.

Ethnic differences in attainment seem to be a consistent feature of medical education in the UK, say the authors. They have persisted for at least the past three decades and cannot be dismissed as atypical or local problems.

While exam performance is by no means the only marker of good performance as a doctor or medical student, they add, the fact remains that without passing finals, medical students cannot become doctors, and without passing postgraduate exams, it is much harder for doctors to progress in a medical career.

The study is published on bmj.com. (ANI)

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