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Letters Widening access to medical school

Ethnicity and academic performance

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1943
  1. Jean McKendree, senior lecturer in medical education
  1. 1Hull York Medical School, UK
  1. jean.mckendree{at}

I think there are two critical aspects to Woolf and colleagues’ very important systematic review that need to be considered in the wider picture.1 Firstly, knowing there is a difference tells us absolutely nothing about why. There are undoubtedly many factors—cultural, socioeconomic, and so forth—but we also need to know how these manifest.

We know that some ethnic students don’t do …

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