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The Tooke inquiry suggests that the General Medical Council should regulate postgraduate as well as undergraduate medical education.1
“Surely you are joking,” writes A Lim, a junior doctor in London. “The GMC has yet to explain its substantial role in the collapse of MMC [Modernising Medical Careers] and MTAS [Medical Training and Applications Service]. The Tooke inquiry correctly identified that many overseas doctors had competed and gained training posts on merit—and this has stirred unease, particularly when it has been perceived to be at the expense of locally trained individuals. The solution seems to be moving towards implementing discriminatory measures against non-EU doctors (as nothing can be done about EU applicants). But if there are too many non-EU doctors in the UK, why does the GMC continue to conduct overseas recruitment drives?”
K Sundar, a specialist registrar in London, agrees: “In the next six months alone, there are five examination dates for part I in 14 countries and five part II sittings. At £575 a pot for both parts, the GMC is raking it in.”
“And why isn't the GMC clearly outlining the employment situation in the UK on its website?” asks G Balasingham, unemployed in Manchester. “Why is there no restriction on the number of people being able to gain entry into the UK with ‘certification' but no jobs after having spent thousands of pounds. I suggest that IMGs [international medical graduates] would have a case at an employment tribunal.”
William Holmes, a foundation year 2 doctor in East Kilbride, thinks he can explain the economics: “Perhaps it is the cost of conducting overseas excursions to find more recruits that forces the GMC to charge a yearly subscription of £290. Or maybe, judging from the July/August edition of GMCtoday, it helps cover the cost of playing around with actors from the National Theatre for the day.”
Competing interests: None declared.