Communication training for international graduates

Clin Teach. 2012 Oct;9(5):325-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00555.x.


Introduction: International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are more likely to be involved in complaints and have lower pass rates for professional examinations. Language barriers and differences in culture and consulting style are suggested to be the cause. A programme was developed in Dumfries and Galloway to address these issues, aiming to provide language and consultation skills training, and create a culture where these issues could be discussed openly.

Methods: There was voluntary recruitment of participants to a programme of consultation and language skills delivered by experienced general practitioner (GP) trainers and an experienced language tutor. The course was assessed using objective measurement of language and consultation skills and feedback from participants, tutors and educational supervisors.

Results: The programme was fully subscribed with a wide range of experience amongst participants, although the absolute numbers were small. Objective improvement was seen in all areas of language assessed, with improvements also seen in consultation skills. The programme was popular with educational supervisors and with participants, who would all like to see it continue. The tutors noted that participants became increasingly reflective, and also believe that the course should continue.

Conclusions: The programme was valued by all those involved, and showed that short-term interventions can improve language and consultation skills, potentially helping to address the challenges faced by this particular group of doctors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Culture
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Foreign Medical Graduates*
  • Humans
  • Language