White men are under-represented in UK medical schools
- By: Nadeeja Koralage
White men are significantly underrepresented in medical school, says research published in the BMJ this month (2004;329:597-600).
The study, done by researchers at Oxford University, found that white men now comprise 26% of all UK medical students, despite making up 44% of the UK population. It also suggested that UK medical schools were increasingly dominated by white women and students from ethnic minorities.
Researchers looked at data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the NHS national database of consultants in England, and the UK Medical Careers Research Group, which spanned the last 30 years. Nearly all medical school graduates in 1974 were white (97%), but by 2000 this had reduced to 74%, with 26% made up of ethnic minorities.
Most students from an ethnic background were Asian. Asian students accounted for 19% of new medical students in 2001, although Asian people make up 7% of the UK population.