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Satisfaction amid professional challenges: International medical graduates in rural Tasmania


Terry, DR and Le, Q and Hoang, H, Satisfaction amid professional challenges: International medical graduates in rural Tasmania, Australasian Medical Journal, 7, (12) pp. 500-517. ISSN 1836-1935 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.4066/AMJ.2014.2267


Background: At the time of recruitment, migration, and placement, international medical graduates (IMGs) encounter professional challenges. These challenges may include a loss of status and professional identity, professional isolation in rural practice, restrictions on medical practice, and social isolation. Understanding the nature of these challenges may facilitate the recruitment, placement, and success of international medical graduates within rural Tasmania.

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences, challenges, and barriers that IMGs encounter as they work and live in rural Tasmania.

Methods: The study used a mixed-methods design where data were collected using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews across the south, north, and northwest of Tasmania. IMGs were recruited through purposive snowball and convenience sampling.

Results: A total of 105 questionnaires were returned (response rate 30.0 per cent) and 23 semi-structured interviews were conducted with IMGs across Tasmania. Questionnaire participants indicated that the majority of IMGs are satisfied in their current employment; however, interview participants indicated there were a number of barriers to practising medicine in Tasmania as well as factors that would influence ongoing employment in the state. Despite these challenges, professional support was recognised as a key contributor to professional satisfaction, particularly among IMGs who had just arrived.

Conclusion: The study contributes to the current knowledge and understanding of IMGs who live and work in rural areas. The study shows that there are high levels of satisfaction among IMGs with their current position; however, the research also provides insight into the complexities and factors that impact IMGs as they work and live within rural areas such as Tasmania. This study offers an understanding for policy to improve greater retention of IMGs across rural areas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:international medical graduates, professional challenges, employment, satisfaction, rural practice
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Terry, DR (Mr Daniel Terry)
UTAS Author:Le, Q (Dr Quynh Le)
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
ID Code:97602
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2015-01-02
Last Modified:2018-02-09

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