There is no place for racism in medicine – lead surgeon says
15 Jun 2022
The British Medical Association (BMA) has published a report today (Wednesday 15th June) on ‘Delivering racial equality in medicine’. It follows a survey of more than 2,000 doctors on their experiences of racism in the workplace. The survey revealed that nearly a third of doctors have either left, or considered leaving their job within the past two years, due to race discrimination.
Commenting on this report, Mr Tim Mitchell, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon, said:
“The findings of this survey are very distressing – no one should experience racism at work and especially in a profession as diverse as medicine. The NHS cannot afford to lose highly trained and experienced staff because they have experienced racism, either from patients or colleagues. Every member of staff has a responsibility to call out prejudice wherever it exists. Those of us who are in leadership positions have an additional responsibility of looking at how we can improve the culture in our hospitals and operating theatres. Having mutual respect and understanding is critical to making every member of the team feel valued and included.
“It is very worrying that 71% of respondents who personally experienced racism chose not to report this to anyone. As the BMA’s report recommends, reporting processes in the NHS must be improved, so that doctors feel they can report abuse and action will be taken against the perpetrator. As leaders of the surgical profession, we have an essential role to play in fostering a surgical community where anyone who has the talent and determination, can succeed. This is why we are undertaking research on differential attainment in surgical exams1. We want to understand what is causing it and how to address it. However, we cannot make things better on our own – which is why we are committed to working with the NHS, government, and the surgical community to achieve this."
Notes to editors
1.Differential attainment in surgical and dental exams — Royal College of Surgeons (rcseng.ac.uk)
2.The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care. For more information, please contact the Press Office:
Telephone: 020 7869 6047/6052
Out of hours media enquiries: 0207 869 6056.