Educational challenges faced by international medical graduates in the UK
Authors Hashim A
Received 6 November 2016
Accepted for publication 7 February 2017
Published 29 June 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 441—445
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder
Gastroenterology Department, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, UK
Introduction: International medical graduates (IMGs) in the UK constitute approximately one-quarter of the total number of doctors registered in the General Medical Council (GMC). The transition of IMGs into the health care system in the UK is accompanied by significant sociocultural and educational challenges. This study aims to explore the views of IMGs in medical training on the educational challenges they face.
Methods: This study was conducted in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region in 2015. All IMGs who work in medical (physicianly) training programs were included. Data were collected through a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Thematic approach was used to analyze the qualitative data.
Results: Of the total 61 IMGs included, 17 responded to the survey and 3 were interviewed. The common educational barriers faced by IMGs were related to lack of appreciation of the values and structure of the National Health Service (NHS), ethical and medicolegal issues, receiving feedback from colleagues and the different learning strategies in the UK. IMGs suggested introduction of a mandatory dedicated induction program in the form of formal teaching sessions. They also believed that a supervised shadowing period prior in the first job in the UK would be beneficial. Further assessment areas should be incorporated into the prequalifying examinations to address specific educational needs such as NHS structure and hospital policies. Other measures such as buddying schemes with senior IMGs and educating NHS staff on different needs of IMGs should also be considered.
Conclusion: This study highlighted important educational challenges faced by IMGs and generated relevant solutions. However, the opinions of the supervisors and other health care professionals need to be explored.
Keywords: international medical graduates, IMG, educational barriers
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