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Author of race discrimination report claims he was pressured to modify covering letter

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5960 (Published 04 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5960
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The author of a General Medical Council report looking at possible reasons for the low pass rate of ethnic minority doctors in a royal college exam has said that the GMC had put pressure on him to remove a sentence from a covering letter sent out with the report.

The original letter, alerting people to the imminent publication of the report, told recipients that the investigation had found the possibility of racial bias. Its author was asked to remove this sentence because the “stakeholders wouldn’t like it,” the BMJ has learnt.

Publication of the report last week led to a row over what the results meant.1 2 3 The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) said that the report exonerated it of racial discrimination in the clinical skills assessment part of its membership exam. But the authors of a BMJ paper published on the day the report came out said that the data showed the possibility of “subjective bias …

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