Introduction Ethnic minority (EM) medical students in the United Kingdom underperform academically compared to their Caucasian counterparts, but the reasons are unclear and further understanding is required. Aim To explore self-reported factors that might influence academic underperformance of EM medical students. Method An online semi-structured questionnaire was used to identify associations between several dimensions that had been identified in previous research and obtain free-text comments. Results Three-hundred and fifty-one medical students (73.3% Caucasian and 26.5% EM) from the Universities of Sheffield, Keele and London responded. EM medical students were less satisfied with their academic performance and less likely to feel they belonged to the medical school community due to their cultural background, including socio-economic factors. Conclusion Differences exist between EM and Caucasian medical students in their learning experiences in medical school. There is a need to increase awareness, for both medical students and teaching staff, of the impact of cultural diversity on academic performance at medical school.
- ethnic groups/statistics and numerical data
- medical education
- medical students
- minority groups/statistics and numerical data