Differential Attainment in Career Progression for Doctors in the UK A Scoping Review

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Veena Daga
Robert Blizzard
Anshoo Dhelaria
Saraswati Hosdurga
Saba Hussein
Spandana Madabhushi
Geraldine Sawney
Arvind Shah
Lambrini Theocharidou
Rupal Shah


Differential attainment in career progression in the NHS is a complex issue with many interplaying factors apart from individual protected characteristics. In this paper, we examine the attainment gap, causes for these disparities and some recommendations to reduce the gap.

Our review shows that there is significant DA between groups of doctors on the basis of gender, ethnicity, race and country of primary medical qualification. The likely causes are bias, lack of opportunity, poor supervision, mentorship, sponsorship, dichotomous treatment of doctors based on training or non-training status and cultural exclusion. Data is not monitored or reported and there is little organisational accountability. Solutions are likely to include transparent data on recruitment as well as progression for benchmarking, training support for all doctors, initiatives which are sensitive to gender, parental responsibility, cultural heritage, language and robust supervision including mentorship and sponsorship.

This scoping review forms part of the Alliance for Equality in Healthcare Professions project on Differential Attainment chaired by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and will be integrated into the Bridging the Gap project undertaken by BAPIO Institute for Health Research (BIHR). This work is part of six domains of doctors' careers in the NHS.

Article Details

How to Cite
Daga, V., Blizzard, R., Dhelaria, A., Hosdurga, S., Hussein, S., Madabhushi, S., Sawney, G., Shah, A., Theocharidou, L., & Shah, R. (2020). Differential Attainment in Career Progression for Doctors in the UK: A Scoping Review. Sushruta Journal of Health Policy & Opinion, 14(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.38192/14.1.8
Author Biographies

Veena Daga, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK

Consultant Anaesthetist

Director of Medical Education, Bapio Training Academy, Bedford, UK

Robert Blizzard, Health Education England Yorkshire & Humber

Education Fellow

Anshoo Dhelaria, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

Consultant Paediatrician

Saraswati Hosdurga, Bristol Children's Hospital, Bristol, UK


Sirona Healthcare

Arvind Shah, North Middlesex Hospital, London, UK

Consultant Paediatrician

Rupal Shah, Health Education England, London

GP, Battersea, London, UK


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