Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Widening access to medical school

Could proficiency in English be a factor?

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1942
  1. Mahmood F Bhutta, research fellow
  1. 1Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU
  1. m.bhutta{at}

Woolf and colleagues present robust evidence that non-white medical students and doctors perform worse in assessments, even when machine marked, removing assessor bias.1 They suggest several factors that may underlie this; an additional and important factor may be language proficiency. Most non-white medical students and …

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