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UK: Medical students told to act ‘less gay’ and walk ‘straight’

September 21, 2012
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A senior doctor has been accused of telling medical students to avoid acting gay if they want to pass their exams.

According to the Independent, Dr Una Coales made the recommendations in a guide setting out ways in which minority candidates can “neutralise bias”.

Journalist Patrick Strudwick reports that Dr Coales is now being investigated by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

It’s claimed she suggested gay students should speak in deeper voices and alter their body language in order to increase their chances of doing well in the RCGP’s Clinical Skills Assessment.

Regarding what she called the “camp” category of students, she said:

“One candidate was facing a 3rd sitting and yet no one had told him that his mannerism, gait, speech were too overtly gay, and that he was sitting an exam administered by a right-wing conservative Royal College.

“So I advised him to lower and deepen his high-pitched voice, neutralise the excessive body movements and walk like a ‘straight’ man.”

The RCGP’s chief executive, Neil Hunt, last night referred Dr Coales to the college’s board of senior officers after being alerted to the book by the Independent.

“The RCGP does not endorse the book, the author did not write it in her capacity as a member of the RCGP Council, and we reject the advice given,” he told the paper.

Dr Coales told the Independent: “I’m not suggesting the college is racist or homophobic. These are merely tips to neutralise subjective bias.”

Dr Coales’ offical Twitter account (drunacoales) now appears to have been deleted.

Related topics: Dr Una Coales, England, Neil Hunt, RCGP, Royal College of General Practitioners, The Independent, Twitter

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