The question is, how do you assess doctors’ competence? That’s what the RCGP is trying to do. There are hundreds of doctors who are failing the clinical skills assessment exam. In practice their tutors are very happy with them and their patients are very happy, but in the artificial environment of the college where they are tested, they are failing by a few marks.
Are we saying that those doctors, who have been trained for three years at a cost of nearly half a million pounds, are no good as GPs? It doesn’t make sense. Years ago there was no MRCGP, people were practising and were doing extremely well. They were competent.
Professor Clare Gerada, the previous RCGP chair, is now saying the CSA is not right (‘Former RCGP chair claims CSA should be scrapped’, pulsetoday.co.uk/news) – and she is correct. The college needs a rethink. Hundreds of these doctors who could not clear the CSA are going to greener pastures, like New Zealand and Australia and Canada, and are highly respected and very happy. This is a loss to the country. It doesn’t need to be like that…………..”