LMCs demand investigation into MRCGP pass rates

LMCs have called for the GMC, BMA and RCGP to launch an investigation into the reasons why international medical graduates' pass rates for the MRCGP examination are consistently lower than those of UK graduates.

Dr Farah Jameel: pass rates must be investigated
Dr Farah Jameel: pass rates must be investigated

The discrepancy in the pass rates between the different groups is getting worse and 'raises concerns about the validity of the MRCGP exam', said a raft of motions passed at the LMCs conference in central London, yesterday.

Dr Asim Safdar from Bedfordshire LMC told the conference that pass rates for the clinical skills assessment (CSA) element part of the MRCGP examination was 91% for UK graduates but only 36% for those who did not graduate in the UK. 'We need these trainees to come through, but to come through properly qualified,' he said.

Dr Saqib Anwar from Leicestershire and Rutland LMC told the conference that non UK graduates are not a homogenous group so there needs to be an investigation. 'Let's not speculate, lets investigate,' he said.

The examination is expensive and graduates only have a limited number of attempts to pass it, Dr Kamal Sidhu from County Durham and Darlington LMC said. 'The figures are depressing,' he added. 'We just need to explore and diagnose where the problems lie.'

An appeal of the examination ruling costs £800, said Dr Farah Jameel, a GP registrar who was an international graduate and who is now a member of the BMA junior doctors committee. She called for urgent action. 'The time is now,' she added.

Another motion backed by GPs, called for the 'feedback from the MRCGP exams to be improved immediately'. LMCs also called on the RCGP to 'set up a career guidance service for trainees who had to leave GP training as a result of being unsuccessful in obtaining the MRCGP exam'.

Earlier this year, the RCGP said it was continuing to work collaboratively with relevant organisations to address concerns about differential pass rates.

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