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BMJ author hits out at attempts to dismiss findings of possible racial bias in RCGP exam

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 27 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5871
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The author of a paper in the BMJ that found evidence of possible “subjective bias owing to racial discrimination” in the exam for membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) has hit out at the college and the General Medical Council for trying to play down his findings.

Aneez Esmail, a UK authority on racial discrimination whom the GMC had asked to investigate whether there was any evidence of racial bias in the clinical skills assessment part of the MRCGP exam, told the BMJ that he had been “taken aback by the vehemence of [the GMC’s and RCGP’s] attempt to exonerate themselves” from accusations of possible racial bias in the exam.

He said it was difficult to identify any other explanation for his findings. “The critical point is that the nature of the CSA [clinical skills assessment] is that it is open to subjective bias,” he told the BMJ.

Clare Gerada, chairwoman of the RCGP, refuted the allegations and claimed that the GMC report that Esmail coauthored made no findings of potential …

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