The RCOG has launched a new programme where twelve Race Equality Taskforce (RET) coaches will help the College tackle issues such as differential attainment which has been identified as one of the contributory factors hindering career progression in the medical field.
Although it is recognised that ethnic minority medical graduates in the UK have 2.5 times higher odds of failing exams compared with their white peers[i] understanding the root causes of differential attainment is harder to extrapolate.
The coaching programme is part of a body of work the College has taken on to address disparities amongst minoritised doctors. Our coaches will help train champions by supporting doctors who are held back as a result of their protected characteristics. The twelve champions across the UK, including the devolved nations, will be trained over the next couple of months in person and online to deal with the issue.
The ambition of the coaching programme is to tackle a wide range of factors which are important in supporting career progression, removing barriers and ultimately greater representation of minoritised doctors in the workforce.
Dr Ranee Thakar, President-Elect of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Co-Chair of the Race Equality Taskforce, said: “I’ve made it a priority to understand how our workforce, and our trainees, are affected by differential attainment and racism within the workplace.
“Differential attainment is not easy to solve, when I first investigated this issue I saw that minoritised doctors were less likely to pass exams or receive a satisfactory ARCP outcomes. I hope the appointment of the new RET coaches will help support our end goal in supporting our members.”
Dr Rehan Khan, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Differential Attainment Advisor for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “The College has been working incredibly hard on tackling differential attainment and the launch of the new coaching programme is another tangible solution which we hope will make a difference in helping to solve this problem.”
Dr Christine Ekechi, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Co-Chair of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Race Equality Taskforce, comments: “We know that the difficult issue of racism in women’s health will only be successfully tackled using multiple approaches and initiatives.
One vital initiative is the support of clinicians who are also likely to experience racism themselves. Without a diverse, supported and supportive workforce at all levels of our speciality, racial inequality in the health outcomes of women and young girls will only persist.
This is one important step on a long and difficult journey towards racial equality in women’s health but one that I am proud we at the RCOG are taking and one that will be of huge benefit to the present and future doctors in our profession.”
About the Race Equality Taskforce
The Race Equality Taskforce advises Officers and the wider College on issues related to race equality, with a particular focus on addressing the disparity in health outcomes experienced by minoritised doctors in O&G.
The Taskforce’s role is crucial within College activities, bringing insight to inform its work around education and training; developing and improving RCOG products, and influencing policy. The group aims to collaborate with healthcare organisations, the governments of the UK and individual women to make meaningful action to address the unacceptable inequalities present in the UK today.