Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

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

Rapid Response:

Re: Re: The motivations of other scientists are problematic to interpret...

Peter Morrell must have a serious point in his tirades against
Professor McManus' response to this article. However as an independent
observer I find it impossible even after several readings of his responses
to discern it.

He criticises McManus for "failing to define such blurred and woolly
terms as post-1945 Britain, social class..." I would have thought that
'post -1945 Britain' has a pretty obvious definition, and perhaps he
should quarrel with the original authors, for they were the ones to use
the term 'social class'.

I find it difficult to appreciate the relevance of paragraphs such as
'McManus ignores such potent social factors as the degrading effect of low
self-esteem, high crime, bullying and the grinding hopelessness of
poverty, not to say the demoralising impact of living in dangerous, run-
down districts and unpleasant visual environments on only a meagre and
uncertain income. Because many less skilled people "live in a depressing
situation with severe social and activity restrictions at work, play and
in relationships, it is not surprising that situational depression

Nobody has referred to situational depression, that I am aware of;
the authors of the papers didn't refer to it, that I can see. So why
expect McManus to think it relevant?

If Dr. Morrell would be kind enough to summarise his arguments into
two or three succinct and objective paragraphs, I am sure it would be most
valuable to those of us concerned with making the best choice of
applicants to medical school

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 October 2004
J Alastair Lack
The River House SP54LX