Black and Asian doctors still face discrimination when applying for jobs in the NHSBMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2451 (Published 14 October 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2451
- Samara Linton, writer and editor
“You have a very good CV, but there is something about you that you cannot change,” said the white consultant conducting the interview. He pointed to the applicant’s skin.
“Even though he is black, they all love him, and they don’t see him as different from us,” a referee wrote in response to the same doctor’s application for a consultant role. And at a consultant interview a panel member asked him, “Do you know this is a white area?”
These accounts show the discrimination experienced by a senior registrar who arrived in the British Isles in the 1980s and began looking for senior roles (box 1). New figures show that black and Asian doctors and those of mixed ethnic backgrounds still experience discrimination when applying for jobs as NHS doctors in London in 2021.
Asked why he kept such meticulous records, he responded, “For days like this”
L was a senior registrar when he first came to the British Isles in the 1980s. He worked as a registrar while he looked for a senior post. “I don’t know how many applications I wrote; I don't know how many hospitals I visited,” he says. One white consultant told him, “You have a very good CV, but there is something about you that you cannot change,” pointing to L’s skin.
L eventually found a higher specialty training post and applied for a consultant role on completion of his training. One referee wrote, “Even though he is black, they all love him, and they don’t see him as different from us.”
At a consultant interview a panel member asked, “Do you know this is a white area?” L responded, “Yes, I do. And I don’t have any problems with that.”
“I probably …RETURN TO TEXT