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RCP responds to GMC report on state of medical education and practice

The RCP has responded to the General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) annual report looking at the state of medical education and practice.

The GMC’s annual report focuses on the wellbeing and retention of doctors as well as the state of medical education. It also looks at how to support the profession when under the intense pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among it’s finding, the report highlighted that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) doctors are less likely than their white counterparts to report improvements in workplace teamwork during the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the report, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians said: “This report reflects the unprecedented challenges that health workers faced during the first peak of the pandemic. I’m incredibly proud of how quick we were to adapt; embracing digital technology and improving the ways in which we work together. The challenge now is to try to retain some of these positive changes beyond the pandemic itself.

“But we cannot ignore the problems the pandemic has exposed. The inequalities highlighted in the report are stark, with BAME doctors struggling far more than their white colleagues. Our own data shows much the same, with BAME doctors consistently disadvantaged when it comes to getting a job.

“And, of course, there has been significant disruption to medical education that has negatively affected trainee doctors. The RCP is already working with other educational bodies to resolve this, but we have much to do to ensure education can continue in a flexible, rigorous and COVID-secure environment.

“The negative impact of the pandemic on doctors’ mental health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. With workloads only increasing as we enter winter in the midst of the second wave, we need to turn our attention to long term solutions. If we’re ever to ease the pressure on our health workers, we must expand the workforce, starting with significantly increasing the number of medical school places.”