Vol. 13 No. 3 (2020): Colour & Colonialism - Facing the Shadows of the Past

The Landscape of Differential Attainment in Medicine: A Student's View

Catherine Dominic
Queen Mary's University, London, UK
couple in blue statues

Published 2020-07-20


  • education,
  • training,
  • differential attainment

How to Cite

Dominic, C. (2020). The Landscape of Differential Attainment in Medicine: A Student’s View. Sushruta Journal of Health Policy & Opinion, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.38192/13.3.12


Differential attainment is the unexplained variation in results in assessment, training, and recruitment outcomes seen in candidates based on factors other than academic ability when compared to their peers. This is seen in both the medical school curriculum and in many professions beyond. It is an unfortunate fact that in spite of recognition and awareness at a systemic level, there is little if any resolution.  DA must be recognised as a systemic bias rather than an individual issue. 

More research into the causes is required, as well as the implementation and evaluation of potential solutions. Interventions need to be made in the learning environment, culture, educational governance, leadership, support for educators, in the development of responsive curricula and fair assessments. In order to build a fairer training system, it is important that we review and act on existing inequality through organisational change.


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