Background. Emotionally charged issues that arise during graduate medical education often are unrecognized and consequently not addressed by training programmes. Little attention has been given to the emotional challenges encountered by international medical graduates (IMG) in caring for patients transculturally. Objectives. We aimed to examine the value of qualitative approaches to assessing the transcultural experiences of IMG residents during primary care training. Methods. Two qualitative research techniques (the critical incident and the focus group) were used to assess the transcultural challenges in caring for patients of IMG and American medical graduates (AMG) resident in a primary care residency programme. Each resident wrote a narrative describing a challenging experience and facilitators then conducted a focus group to discuss these experiences. Key themes were identified from the written narratives and from the transcript of the videotaped focus group. Results. Previously unacknowledged feelings emerged during the assessment. Themes of struggles for acceptance, fear of rejection, and fear of disappointing patients were identified from analysis of the written narrative, while themes of struggle to express caring transculturally were identified from the focus group transcript. Based on these findings, significant changes were made to the residency training curriculum. Conclusions. Qualitative methods are useful for assessing the transcultural experiences of IMG residents and for informing curricular changes in residency training. These methods may help other training programmes to identify the particular needs of their trainees in addressing emotionally laden experiences.
- International medical graduate
- Medical education
- Qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice