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Differential attainment is the phenomenon where groups of people, in this case, members of the medical profession, experience differences in their achievement based on factors which are beyond their control. There are multiple contributory factors including gender, age, race, ethnicity, socio-economic and disability. The evidence suggests that medical professionals from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, women, those with a disability, international medical graduates, those from low socioeconomic status and from geographical low participation (in higher education) areas tend to find barriers in every stage of recruitment to medical schools and later during their careers. There is emerging data over the last 5 years (post-2014) of organisations such as General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council and members of the Academy of Royal Colleges that are striving to offer transparency and annual reports which offer the opportunity for reflection and self-assessment.
The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin has been leading a collaborative initiative with the ‘Alliance for Equality in Healthcare Professions’ to tackle the full range of differential attainment. This collaboration brings multiple stakeholder organisations and grassroots bodies around the table with international experts in reviewing the evidence, the data from focus groups and working to develop tangible, SMART interventions to address these disparities. This review on DA in recruitment is one of six such themes which will constitute the ‘Bridging the Gap’ report due in line with the Silver Jubilee celebrations of BAPIO in September 2021. The report will present evidence-based, consensus on recommendations for action at national, regional and local level and areas for further collaborative research.
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