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Social capital among migrating doctors: the 'Bridge' over troubled water


Terry, DR and Le, Q, Social capital among migrating doctors: the 'Bridge' over troubled water, Journal of Health Organization and management, 28, (3) pp. 315-326. ISSN 1477-7266 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

DOI: doi:10.1108/JHOM-09-2012-0178


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of social capital among International Medical Graduates (IMGs). It will specifically examine bridging social capital and greater intercultural communication which provides IMGs access to the wider community and plays a key role in cross-cultural adaptation and acculturation.

Design/methodology/approach: A review of the literature.

Findings: An Australian wide shortage of doctors has led to an increased reliance on the recruitment of IMGs. As IMGs migrate, they may encounter different meanings of illness, models of care and a number of social challenges. Nevertheless, greater cross-cultural adaptation and acculturation occurs through bridging social capital, where intercultural communication, new social networks and identity aids integration. This process produces more opportunities for economic capital growth and upward mobility than bonding social capital.

Practical implications: Concerns regarding immigration, appropriate support and on-going examination processes have been expressed by IMGs in a number of studies and policy papers. However, there is very little insight into what contributes cross-cultural adaptation of IMGs.

Originality/value: As IMGs migrate to not only a new country, but also a new health system and workplace they arrive with different cultural meanings of illness and models of care. These differences may be in contrast to the dominant western medical model, but often bring positive contributions to patient care in the new environment. In addition, improving bridging social capital provides IMGs access to the wider community and has been demonstrated to play a key role in cross-cultural adaptation and ultimately acculturation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, personal health, empowerment, ethnic minorities, doctors, medical professions
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Terry, DR (Mr Daniel Terry)
UTAS Author:Le, Q (Dr Quynh Le)
ID Code:93905
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2014-08-21
Last Modified:2015-04-10

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