Refugee doctors celebrated

Leading figures from the medical world attended a lunch to mark the fifth edition of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality's guide for refugee doctors - and to celebrate the doctors' achievements.

First published in 1998, the guide offers "all you need to know about requalifying to work in the UK," explained Jcore executive director Dr Edie Friedman. "Refugees have had a difficult time. You want to smooth the path for them as much as possible."

The project was inspired partly by the experience of Jewish refugee doctors who encountered antagonism from the medical establishment in the 1930s, which argued that they would "dilute our industry". In her introduction to the guide, Dr Friedman quotes the claim of the then president of the Royal College of Physicians, Lord Dawson, that "the number of refugee doctors who could usefully be absorbed or teach us anything could be counted on the fingers of one hand".

Guests at the lunch at the Royal Society of Medicine in central London included its president elect Professor Parveen Kumar and her British Medical Association counterpart Sir Michael Marmot.

The BMA is distributing the 1,000 copies of the guide, which is supported by the Kessler Foundation and the Humanitarian Trust.

    Last updated: 3:35pm, June 17 2010