Call on foreign doctor standards

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Research by the University College London found a "performance gap" between international medical graduates and UK graduates Research by the University College London found a "performance gap" between international medical graduates and UK graduates

Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS should face tougher tests in line with the standards of UK-trained doctors, a study has said.

Research by University College London, published by the British Medical Journal, found a "performance gap" between international medical graduates and UK graduates.

It urged the General Medical Council, which commissioned the study, to set pass marks "considerably higher" for entry exams taken by international doctors .

It warned that "very few" current candidates would have qualified to work in the UK if the grades were raised in line with the standard of UK graduates.

Around 1,300 foreign physicians are licensed each year by the General Medical Council after passing an exam which assesses clinical and language skills.

Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at UCL, said the performance gap was highlighted by the number of foreign doctors being refereed to the GMC.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "There is no real mechanism for checking that doctors coming from outside Britain have been trained to the same level as British doctors. We wanted to find out what level overseas doctors would have to reach if they were to be as competent as British graduates. I think it's inevitable that the bar will need to be set higher.

"The fact that you already have overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings is indicative of the problem. Many are simply not trained to the same standards.

"It may be that some overseas doctors have had poor training and when they come to Britain they will catch up quickly and thrive in a better environment.

"But alternatively some may feel completely overwhelmed, particularly with new technology that they have not yet come across. And that is of concern."

The GMC asked UCL to carry out the research after it set up a working party to review whether the competency exam needed to be updated, the newspaper reported.

Figures from 2012 showed that of 669 doctors who were struck off or suspended in the previous five years, 420 had trained abroad.

The findings come as tougher language checks for European doctors come into force this summer.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, told the newspaper: "We are determined to do what we can to maintain high standards of medical practice in the UK, regardless of where doctors receive their training.

"That is why we are reviewing the way in which we assess the knowledge and skills of those seeking to practise here. This review, along with our decision to increase the score we require in our assessment of English language skills, will help us ensure that high standards of practice are maintained."

Comments (3)

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10:59am Fri 18 Apr 14

Galleon says...

'overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings'
What do you expect? Are they not more likely to be falsely accussed and reported for many things that the home-grown doctors would get away with?
Evidence abounds that some of them are even better than so-called UK graduates.
I belong to a different profession where foreign colleagues are also over-represented in the professional body's hearings - most of the time due to spurious allegations and other matters that their homr-grown colleagues would easily get away with.
'overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings' What do you expect? Are they not more likely to be falsely accussed and reported for many things that the home-grown doctors would get away with? Evidence abounds that some of them are even better than so-called UK graduates. I belong to a different profession where foreign colleagues are also over-represented in the professional body's hearings - most of the time due to spurious allegations and other matters that their homr-grown colleagues would easily get away with. Galleon
  • Score: -1

1:28pm Fri 18 Apr 14

welshmen says...

Galleon wrote:
'overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings'
What do you expect? Are they not more likely to be falsely accussed and reported for many things that the home-grown doctors would get away with?
Evidence abounds that some of them are even better than so-called UK graduates.
I belong to a different profession where foreign colleagues are also over-represented in the professional body's hearings - most of the time due to spurious allegations and other matters that their homr-grown colleagues would easily get away with.
Simple answer, all foreign Doctors, if your not happy with the way your treated then you have the right to leave, perhaps your own people would benefit greatly if you returned to your Country of Origin, instead of moaning and moaning....The only people who "easily get away with" as you say are foreigners in our Country, wasn't it a few of the foreign Doctors who tried to ram Glasgow airport with a Range Rover and kill people....
[quote][p][bold]Galleon[/bold] wrote: 'overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings' What do you expect? Are they not more likely to be falsely accussed and reported for many things that the home-grown doctors would get away with? Evidence abounds that some of them are even better than so-called UK graduates. I belong to a different profession where foreign colleagues are also over-represented in the professional body's hearings - most of the time due to spurious allegations and other matters that their homr-grown colleagues would easily get away with.[/p][/quote]Simple answer, all foreign Doctors, if your not happy with the way your treated then you have the right to leave, perhaps your own people would benefit greatly if you returned to your Country of Origin, instead of moaning and moaning....The only people who "easily get away with" as you say are foreigners in our Country, wasn't it a few of the foreign Doctors who tried to ram Glasgow airport with a Range Rover and kill people.... welshmen
  • Score: -2

4:07pm Fri 18 Apr 14

welshmen says...

The University College of London has found that half of foreign doctors in Britain do not have the skills to work here, the competency exam is to easy the major study found, the Majority of the 88,000 Foreign Doctors would fail according to the research, 88, 000 foreign trained Doctors including 23, 000 from Europe are registered to work in our NHS, they make a third of all NHS Doctors, but account for approximately two thirds of these being struck off every year...
The University College of London has found that half of foreign doctors in Britain do not have the skills to work here, the competency exam is to easy the major study found, the Majority of the 88,000 Foreign Doctors would fail according to the research, 88, 000 foreign trained Doctors including 23, 000 from Europe are registered to work in our NHS, they make a third of all NHS Doctors, but account for approximately two thirds of these being struck off every year... welshmen
  • Score: 1
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