Medicine: another bastion of the UK’s great class divideBMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4009 (Published 26 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k4009
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Dr Munaf's experience is completely at odds with mine.
My parents were a train driver and a clerkess; my grandmothers were cleaners, and my grandfathers were a gardener and a carpenter respectively. I attend the local comprehensive. I had none of the "background and connections" the author refers to. I am the lower social class “poster boy”.
Despite this, I have never felt discriminated against. Rather than hope for outreach to me, I went to the library to read books on how to apply for medicine and pursued some hospital voluntary work before filling in my application for medical school.
When I arrived at University in Edinburgh I had never in my life seen a cafetière nor realised that Enid Blyton really was correct in talking about children attending boarding school. It didn't seem too difficult though to change some of my language and accent to make sure that I could be understood; a skill that was also useful when I left Scotland to work in London.
Not only have I felt immensely privileged in my work as a doctor, but have never found any impediment in my learning and career due to class bias. I qualified in 1991, and would be disappointed to hear of general regress.
Some might suggest that I should have been more on the lookout for class discrimination. Even if I have been somehow ignorant, rather than take on a victim stance, I much prefer to have advanced in my career with gratitude for the many opportunities I have been given.
So, whilst all in favour of help and support for medical students-to-be, it should be tempered with the reality that medicine is open to all, as I was grateful to find out for myself.
Competing interests: No competing interests