What are the biggest challenges international medical graduates face when starting work in the NHS?
International medical graduates (IMGs) make a substantial contribution to healthcare in the United Kingdom. As of July 2017, over one third (37%) of doctors on the General Medical Council list of registered medical practitioners had gained their primary medical qualification outside the UK.1
Taking your first step on the career ladder in the UK is daunting for all medical graduates, and those who have gained their medical qualification overseas have to combine this with settling in a new country. A study published in 2009 by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, found that IMGs and their UK graduate counterparts starting foundation year 1 posts shared concerns common to many starting a new job and taking their first professional step after education.2 However, IMGs differed from their UK graduate colleagues in the challenges related to understanding English language accents and dialects, and the differing expectations of work and training cultures.