The working classes are less intelligent than those from wealthier backgrounds and therefore less likely to be trained as doctors, an academic has claimed.PHIL COBURN
Professor Chris McManus, of University College London, said it is not surprising that most British medical students are middle-class because intellectual ability is linked to social standing.
He referred to one of his own research papers to support the claim, in an editorial for a leading medical journal.
Prof McManus, a professor of psychology, made his claims as he criticised a “politically correct” Government scheme to help more working-class pupils become doctors.
“It is extraordinary to equate intellectual ability with social class,” said Mr Bradshaw.
“It is important that anyone who wants to study medicine is able to do so on ability rather than background.”
It comes just weeks after another academic claimed working-class teenagers have lower IQs than wealthy ones and should not expect to get in to the best universities.
Prof McManus claimed, in an article co-written by medical student Hugh Ip: “UK medical students tend to come from higher socio-economic classes, perhaps not surprisingly, as social class correlates with intellectual ability.”
He went on to question the benefits of a scheme called the Extended Medical Degree Programme which aims to create more doctors from the working classes and ethnic minorities.
Pupils from state schools in poor areas of inner London are allowed into medical school even if they just get three Cs at A-level, rather than the normal two As and a B minimum.
Prof McManus argued that it is not clear whether patients benefit from being treated by doctors from similar backgrounds, or even whether medics trained under the scheme would actually go on to look after disadvantaged groups.
The amusing thing about this article is that it does not name the other person offering the explanation for the predominance of the upper and middle classes in the more rigorous academic disciplines or the basis for his claims (which is about the natural selection process inherent in a continuing meritocracy) I discussed his ideas here. Of course you have to ask if the people of Britain are being at all well served by lowering the academic entrance standard for medical studies. Personally I think that such affirmative action programs are just wrong and stupid and that if some one from a working class background can’t make it on merit then they should not be doctors in the first place.
One thing that is certain and that is that the number of doctors trained in places like India or Africa who seem very keen to pursue their careers in places like Britain or here in Australia suggests that the idea that students from working class backgrounds will go back and serve the communities they come from is actually entirely wrong. They tend to follow the cash …