The GMC has commissioned an independent review into the pass rates for different groups taking MRCGP exams this month.
It follows concerns about failure rates for doctors who qualified outside the UK or Europe; concerns have also been raised about failure rates affecting black and minority ethnic UK trained doctors.
Figures from the RCGP show that 65.3% of international graduates failed at their first attempt of the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) component of the MRCGP exam in 2011/12, compared with 9.9% of UK graduates.
“This is a critical examination for doctors wishing to become GPs and it is vital that doctors, patients and employers have confidence that it is both fair and robust,” said Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the GMC.
“The underlying causes for different pass rates among different groups of doctors are likely to be complex, but we are determined to understand this issue, which is why, as a first step, we have commissioned this independent review of the data.”