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Faculty Development

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Supervising non-UK medical graduates

Supervising non-UK medical graduates

Doctors who have qualified outside of the UK form a vital part of the NHS workforce. But having qualified in a different country and culture and perhaps (although not inevitably) in a different language, difficulties can be encountered when a prior medical training is transposed to the UK healthcare setting. This e-learning module aims to help supervisors provide effective support to doctors who qualified outside of the UK.

The approach outlined in this module draws heavily on the comprehensive well-researched programme produced by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada in 2006 (Steinert and Walsh, 2006).  In particular, this module has adopted a number of the underlying principles that informed the Canadian programme:

 

  1. The content and process of a faculty development programme for supervisors of non-UK qualified doctors is not fundamentally different than one for supervisors of UK qualified doctors.  However certain topics may be encountered more frequently – or become more pronounced – when working with internationally qualified doctors.
  2. A ‘deficit-based approach’ to understanding the difficulties of non-UK qualified doctors must be avoided.
  3. Opportunities for doctors who qualified outside the UK to contribute to the training of other learners should be encouraged
  4. All educators must recognise - and acknowledge - that each doctor who qualified outside the UK is a unique individual.  

 

In adopting this approach, after defining key terms, the module begins by looking at the contribution of non-UK qualified doctors to the UK medical workforce and only then examines some of the ways in which the career trajectories of these doctors may be less straightforward than their counterparts who qualified in the UK.

Incorporating the idea that faculty development programmes for doctors who qualified outside the UK should not be fundamentally different from a programme for UK qualified doctors, the module then outlines a generic approach to supervision that applies to all doctors in all clinical settings. The remaining sections of the module (sections 6 to 12) have been structured according to the Canadian programme, but UK resources and research have been incorporated whenever possible.

 

Thinking Points

Reflecting on your own experience as a junior doctor – can you think of non-UK qualified colleagues (trainees or SAS grades) whom you have encountered who were well integrated into the clinical team?  What was it about these doctors, (and/or the clinical setting) that meant they had made a smooth transition into UK medical practice?
Reflecting on your own experience as a junior doctor – can you think of non-UK qualified colleagues (trainees or SAS grades) whom you encountered who experienced difficulties integrating into the clinical team? What was it about these doctors (and/or the clinical setting) that meant they were struggling with the transition into UK medical practice?
If you have had experience of supervising non-UK qualified doctors, you might want to reflect on your experience of working with this group. What were some of the factors that led to the doctors making a positive transition? What might have been going on when the doctor encountered difficulties?


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