Document Detail

Professional experiences of international medical graduates practicing primary care in the United States.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20502974     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: International medical graduates (IMGs) comprise approximately 25% of the US physician workforce, with significant representation in primary care and care of vulnerable populations. Despite the central role of IMGs in the US healthcare system, understanding of their professional experiences is limited.
OBJECTIVE: To characterize the professional experiences of non-US born IMGs from limited-resource nations practicing primary care in the US.
DESIGN: Qualitative study based on in-depth in-person interviews.
PARTICIPANTS: Purposeful sample of IMGs (n = 25) diverse in country of origin, length of practice in the US, specialty (internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics), age and gender. Participants were currently practicing primary care physicians in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.
APPROACH: A standardized interview guide was used to explore professional experiences of IMGs.
KEY RESULTS: Four recurrent and unifying themes characterize these experiences: 1) IMGs experience both overt and subtle forms of workplace bias and discrimination; 2) IMGs recognize professional limitations as part of "the deal"; 3) IMGs describe challenges in the transition to the culture and practice of medicine in the US; 4) IMGs bring unique skills and advantages to the workplace.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reveal that IMGs face workplace challenges throughout their careers. Despite diversity in professional background and demographic characteristics, IMGs in our study reported common experiences in the transition to and practice of medicine in the US. Findings suggest that both workforce and workplace interventions are needed to enable IMG physicians to sustain their essential and growing role in the US healthcare system. Finally, commonalities with experiences of other minority groups within the US healthcare system suggest that optimizing IMGs' experiences may also improve the experiences of an increasingly diverse healthcare workforce.
Peggy Guey-Chi Chen; Marcella Nunez-Smith; Susannah May Bernheim; David Berg; Aysegul Gozu; Leslie Ann Curry
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-05-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of general internal medicine     Volume:  25     ISSN:  1525-1497     ISO Abbreviation:  J Gen Intern Med     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-09     Completed Date:  2010-12-06     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8605834     Medline TA:  J Gen Intern Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  947-53     Citation Subset:  IM    
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street; IE-61 SHM, PO Box 208088, New Haven, CT 06520-8088, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Foreign Medical Graduates*
Interprofessional Relations*
Interviews as Topic
Job Satisfaction
Middle Aged
New Jersey
New York
Physician-Patient Relations
Physicians, Primary Care*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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