Decision Maker Response

General Medical Council’s response

Oct 30, 2020 — We are grateful for the widespread and vocal public support for this cause. Like you, we want doctors to be equipped with the essential knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care to all patients. It’s very important that teaching materials including course content and medical textbooks include examples of how diseases and health conditions present in people from different ethnicities and diverse groups.

Medical schools design and deliver their own course content for students but we determine the outcomes that must be achieved by the end of the course. This petition has sparked important conversations about how to achieve our existing requirement that students should learn about the needs of patients from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Many medical schools have already done great work to address these issues and share their knowledge with each other. We are now working with schools to explore how to include new and more varied examples so that our future doctors see and learn about all people in their training.

Recent events are an important reminder of health inequalities in the UK and it is unacceptable that Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients have, at times, had different experiences and outcomes in healthcare. We want to encourage more BME representation from the outset in medical teaching and training to support black and minority ethnic students, trainees, doctors and patients in the UK.

- Prof Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director, Education and Standards at the General Medical Council