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Views on fairness and the GMC

Nurse giving injection
Researchers: Martin Mitchell
Published: May 2014


We wanted to understand doctors’ perceptions of the fairness and objectivity of the General Medical Council (GMC).

The GMC aims to be a fair regulator for a diverse profession. Doctors from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background make up 27% of all doctors on the GMC register, so it’s important that the views of this group of doctors as well of those of white doctors are included in this important study.

This study has finished and you can read the report: Views on fairness and the GMC

We wanted to find out :

  • How fair doctors think the GMC are;
  • How objective doctors think the GMC are; and ;
  • Whether doctors believe the GMC treats BME doctors differently to others.

What is the GMC?

The General Medical Council (GMC) registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Its purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. It has four statutory functions: setting professional standards, maintaining the register of doctors, overseeing medical education and training and dealing with concerns about doctors. 


The study had two phases:

  • Phase 1 involved focus groups and interviews with doctors from different ethnic groups to explore  perceptions of whether the GMC exercises its functions fairly.
  • Phase 2 built on Phase 1 to explore the extent to which views expressed by doctors in Phase 1 are shared more broadly among doctors on the register. We did this using a quantitative survey.


Read the report