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Male doctors “more likely to face misconduct hearings”

28 April 2010

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Male doctors considered to be from a lower social class and who struggled during their training are more likely to be put before the General Medical Council, a study has suggested.

In a study carried out at the University of Nottingham’s Medical School, researchers found male doctors who fell behind during their time at medical school and who were considered to be of a lower social standing, were more likely to face professional misconduct hearings and were less likely to have achieved consultant status or be on the GP register.

The study’s authors have called for fresh research into the possibility that certain groups are more likely to face professional misconduct hearings, stressing that the initial findings should be treated with caution.

Co-author Emeritus Professor David James, foundation director of the school’s Medical Education Unit, said: “This small preliminary study provides the first evidence in the UK that male students and those who perform poorly in the early years of the course might be at slightly increased risk of subsequent professional misconduct.

“Lower social class background, as estimated from the father’s occupation at course entry, was also an independent risk factor in this retrospective study.”

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