This new scheme offers junior ophthalmology doctors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to effect positive change by being a mentor.
A recent article published in Eye, the scientific journal of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists on the ‘Lived experiences of UK Black Ophthalmology Trainees in the NHS1, reports on the impact of prejudice, bullying and harassment on trainee wellbeing and the trickled down effects onto patient care.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is supporting the reverse mentoring initiative to enable more learning of the lived experiences of the Black, Asian and minority ethnic ophthalmic community and to help to overcome the perceived barriers that contribute towards differential attainment.
Reverse mentoring involves junior doctors mentoring senior staff responsible for the provision of national ophthalmic training on their lived experiences as BAME doctors.
Reports published by the GMC have found a statistically significant difference in outcomes based on race with 72% of white UK graduates passing FRCOphth exams on their first attempt compared with 60% of UK Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) graduates. For International BAME graduates, this is only 50% (GMC Progression report2). This highlights the systematic differences in outcomes of BAME doctors otherwise known as differential attainment3.
Junior ophthalmology doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds are now being offered the opportunity to effect positive change by being a mentor on the scheme. The aim is to have a diverse mentor cohort from both UK and International backgrounds with a mix of varied genders as a deeper understanding of intersectionality within the scheme is important.
The President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Vice President, two committee chairs and two examiners have volunteered to participate in reverse mentoring with the intention of informing the RCOphth about areas where prejudice and inequalities occur within the speciality and what support could be offered.
Mr Robert (Morgan) Blizzard, an OST7, recently completed his Leadership fellowship with Health Education England and implemented a reverse mentoring scheme in Yorkshire and Humber. This paired Deputy Deans and Head of School mentees with ethnic minority trainee mentors to allowed development of more informed strategies to address differential attainment.
Download more information about the RCOphth Reverse Mentoring Scheme
To apply for this reverse mentoring program, please use the link below to complete a ‘Mentor Profile’ by 21 October 2021.
Article written by Robert (Morgan) Blizzard, Leadership Fellow Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Health Education England (until August 2021) and Mousindha (Sindhu) Arjunan, Leadership Fellow Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Health Education England
If you have further questions, please contact [email protected]
- Annoh, R., & Mensah, E. (2021). Lived experiences of UK Black Ophthalmology Trainees in the NHS. Eye (London), 35(7), 1811-1814. doi:10.1038/s41433-021-01473-6
- GMC Progression report. Speciality exam pass rates for candidates in Ophthalmology for PMQ and ethnicity
- Woolf, K. (2020). Differential attainment in medical education and training. BMJ, 368. doi:10.1136/bmj.m339