Letters Response

The Royal College of General Practitioners replies to the BMJ

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5900 (Published 02 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5900
  1. Kamila Hawthorne, chair, Assessment Development Committee1,
  2. Adrian Freeman, clinical skills assessment lead1,
  3. Amar Rughani, MRCGP clinical lead for blueprinting1,
  4. Sue Rendel, MRCGP chief examiner1,
  5. Barry Lewis, chair, COGPED2,
  6. Bill Irish, chair elect, COGPED2
  1. 1Royal College of General Practitioners, London NW1 2FB, UK
  2. 2Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED), c/o Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, London EC1V 0DB, UK
  1. gillian.watson{at}rcgp.org.uk

A suggestion of racial discrimination in a professional licensing examination is a serious matter.1 We are surprised to see it in the paper in the BMJ by Esmail and Roberts2 when the corresponding GMC report using the same data explicitly states that the same authors found no bias in the clinical skills assessment (CSA) of the examination for membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP).3 It is misleading at best to suggest that discrimination in the CSA is the cause of differential pass rates when the paper presents no such evidence.

Table 1 shows that black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates who are international medical graduates (IMG) and/or from the European Economic Area (EEA) also seem to do less well than white IMG/EEA candidates in the GMC’s Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) part 2 examination. …

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