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Learning In Practice

The standardised admission ratio for measuring widening participation in medical schools: analysis of UK medical school admissions by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sex

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 24 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1545

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More insight needed

Thankyou for two most interesting articles on our medical school
admissions. However I see no attention paid to the three major
determinants of academic aptitude for any career - IQ, EQ (Emotional
Quotient), and education.

Testing for aptitude for a career as broad as medicine is
challenging, but certainly an adequate IQ as well as an adequate EQ (in my
view almost more important) is necessary. You give no data on the ethnic
and sex distribution of these in applicants.

Nor is any attention paid to the distribution of those who have had
an education to the standard required for medicine. Medical schools can
hardly be expected to make up for a poor education.

Your claim in the title that you deal with sex is not fulfilled. It
is mentioned only in the second half of one paragraph, which in view of
the major effect it has on lifetime working hours per doctor qualifying is
not doing it justice.

Is not our goal to produce more doctor-hours of the highest standard
possible, irrespective of a person's race, sex or origin? If applicants
are not coming forward for selection in an even distribution, that is an
educational problem at school level. The real test of discrimination would
be of the acceptance to medical school of 'academically apt' applicants.

It would be most unfortunate if the standardised admission ratio as
published were to be accepted as politically correct and therefore

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 June 2004
J. Alastair Lack
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