Assessment of the learning needs of International Medical Graduates

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Australia is increasingly relying on international medical graduates (IMGs) to help address a medical workforce shortage. There is a lack of research, however, on the educational issues faced by IMGs trying to become qualified to work in Australia. Objective: To explore the learning needs of IMGs preparing for the Australian Medical Council (AMC) clinical examination. Method: Two focus groups were conducted with IMGs enrolled in the University of New South Wales Bridging Program. Semi-structured questions were used to guide the discussion and the topics included medical knowledge and clinical skills, extra training required, English language and communication skills, resource requirements, professional networking, access to clinical experience, working in the hospital system, general practice/specialist training and non-medical issues. The qualitative data collected in the focus group discussions were thematically hand-coded and analysed. Results: There were two focus groups with 19 participants in total. Overall, the IMGs felt that they had sufficient medical knowledge but needed extra training in clinical and communication skills, ethical and legal issues, medical knowledge in the context of the Australian healthcare system, role of the general practitioner and the AMC examination process, in particular role-play. They also required access to resources such a medical libraries. Conclusion: IMGs have a broad range of learning needs. For these to be addressed requires a comprehensive co-ordinated national approach to the training of IMGs to equip them fully for work in Australia.
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Saxena, S
Dennis, Sarah
Vagholkar, Sanjyot
Zwar, N
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty