Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Aneez Esmail: Almost got expelled from university

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 01 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5908


Aneez Esmail, 57, is professor of general practice at the University of Manchester. For 20 years he has been throwing an unflattering light on racism in the NHS and universities. He recently wrote a review for the General Medical Council on possible racial bias in the examination for membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners and concluded in The BMJ that subjective bias owing to racial discrimination may be a cause of higher failure rates for candidates from ethnic minorities.1 He rejected an OBE in 2006 because in his view it represented an outdated and hierarchical honours system. He is interested in patient safety, and he served as medical adviser to the Shipman inquiry.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a doctor—I always wanted to work in an area where I could diagnose disease, solve problems, and help people.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Norman …

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