The state of UK medical education and practice: report from the GMC

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 08 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5983
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

The General Medical Council recently published its sixth annual report on the state of medical education and practice.1 Here are five things the report told us

Greater diversity

From 2011 to 2015 there was a 22% rise in the number of specialists who described themselves as black and minority ethnic (BME) and an 18% increase in the number of BME GPs. Among GPs and specialists who were UK graduates, a higher proportion described themselves as BME (18% and 16%, respectively) than in the UK population overall (13%).

Sex divide remains

Although the proportion of registered female doctors grew slightly from 43% in 2011 to 45% in 2015, growth among younger age groups slowed. The proportion of male doctors under 30 years old rose by 20% from 2011 to 2015, while that of female doctors under 30 rose by only 6%.

Fewer doctors from abroad

Of the doctors licensed to practise and work in the UK, fewer were from abroad: there were 10% fewer international medical graduates and 2% fewer European economic area graduates in 2015 than in 2011. In 2015 there were also fewer doctors with an Asian ethnicity in training, including south Asian doctors.

Fewer complaints

In 2015 there were 8269 complaints about doctors’ fitness to practise, 7% fewer than in 2014. Complaints had risen sharply from 2011 to 2013 but fell in both 2014 and 2015. Most complaints (68%) in 2015 came from the public, and 9% came from other doctors.

More hospital doctors

The number of doctors on the specialist register grew by 21% between 2011 and 2015 to 84 511. By comparison, the GP register grew by only 8% to 64 879. The number of doctors who were neither on the register nor in training fell by 4% between 2012 and 2015.


View Abstract

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription