Racist doctor selection a ‘shameful waste of talent’

Personnel managers need to be more involved in the recruitment of doctors
according to a health charity, which claims that Asian and black doctors are
far less likely to be chosen for the best jobs than their white colleagues.

A new book by independent health charity King’s Fund, Racism in medicine: An
agenda for change, also states that doctors from ethnic minorities are more
likely to be working in unpopular specialties and in inner-city general
practices and are far less likely to be consultants.

Naaz Coker, King’s Fund race and diversity director, claims black and Asian
doctors are angry about the discrimination they face, and said health service
HR staff should take an active part in recruiting doctors.

He said, "This is a shameful waste of talent. Doctors from black and
minority ethnic groups are still being sidelined. Harassment and bullying, from
colleagues and patients, are daily facts of life.

"The profession’s leaders must act now to tackle racist behaviour among
their ranks and promote equal opportunities for all."

Lew Swift, head of HR at the Walton Centre for Neuro-science and
Neuro-surgery, agrees with the report’s recommendation, but said he had not
come across institutionalised racial discrimination in the health service.

But he said, "If the survey is correct, then it is obviously
unacceptable and must be stamped out, though racial discrimination may well be

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