WOMEN trainee doctors are more likely than men to be offered a training post and pass their exams, according to new figures.
Ethnic minority doctors from UK medical schools perform less well in exams and recruitment than their white counterparts, but better than white doctors from non-UK medical schools.
The figures were revealed by the General Medical Council and were based on recruitment outcomes for foundation year 2 (F2) doctors from 2012 to 2014 and exam pass rates from August 2013 to July 2014 for those in specialty/GP training across the UK.
It is hoped the report will help identify examples of good practice where effective support has been given to trainees struggling to progress into specialty/GP training or pass exams.
Exam pass rates were found to vary between graduating medical schools and between postgraduate training programmes. Patterns were also identified according to doctors’ gender, ethnicity and age, although the reasons for such trends are not clear.
Of the 7,423 F2 doctors who finished training in 2012, 66 per cent took up a specialty or GP training place immediately after completing foundation training. A further 17 per cent took up a place the following year. Nearly all – 92.5 per cent – were in further medical training or working as doctors in the UK within two and a half years of completing F2.
In the first recruitment round, 77 per cent of women received an offer compared to 70 per cent of men. Of F2 doctors who graduated from a UK medical school, 72 per cent of black/minority ethnic (BME) applicants received an offer compared with 81 per cent of white applicants.
Across all exams, candidates from Severn Deanery and Defence Postgraduate Deanery had the highest pass rates with 80.2 per cent and 79.2 per cent respectively. Doctors not in a UK training programme (but with a UK license to practise) were less likely to pass postgraduate exams with an overall pass rate of 44 per cent.
BME doctors from a UK medical school were found to be less likely to pass postgraduate exams than white doctors from a UK medical school, with pass rates of 63.5 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.
GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said the figures were based on limited data and should be treated “with care”.
But he hoped the information could be of use, adding: “[T]he exam data is only based on one year’s figures and we do not yet understand why these differences occur. But being open about all this is a vital first step to analysing what is going on and doing something about it.”
The GMC’s report was compiled in conjunction with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC).
AMRC vice-chair Dr J-P van Besouw said: “This analysis shows us that while we have made a good start in seeing where any potential discrepancies may exist, there is further work to be done and much more data will be required if we are to have any insight into the possible causes of those discrepancies if we are to understand how they can be eradicated.”
Read the full report here