International Medical Graduates' perceptions about residency training experience: a qualitative study

Int J Med Educ. 2023 Jan 27;14:4-10. doi: 10.5116/ijme.63c3.e6b3.


Objectives: To explore International Medical Graduates residents' experiences and perspectives of their residency training program.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted at a large research-intensive University. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 14 International medical graduates. The residents recruited for this study were at different levels in their training ranging from Postgraduate year one to five. Residents interviewed represented seven unique specialties. Each trainee was interviewed, and the data were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis framework was used to conduct the data analysis, resulting in the development of study themes.

Results: Our analysis generated six main themes. These themes were related to costly decisions, unspoken expectations, the stigma associated with being an IMG, fears of being an IMG, the strength and resilience of IMGs, and recommen-dations proposed by IMGs for program improvement.

Conclusions: In this study, we wanted to explore international residents' experiences with their programs. The experience of each individual international resident is unique. However, in this study, we were able to provide firsthand perceptions of IMGs from a research-intensive university and identified common themes experienced and perceived by our resi-dents. This study's findings may help educate, reduce stigma, and guide the implementation of effective individu-al and systemic support for these trainees. Which in turn will enhance the overall educational experiences for IMGs trainees. Our study found that themes seem to be recur-ring, hence, an urgency to bring about appropriate chang-es, equitable opportunities, and support for IMGs.

Keywords: grounded theory; imgs; perspectives; residents.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Medicine*
  • Qualitative Research