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International Medical Graduate (IMG) Fellowship Programme


Based on data collected routinely, we know proportionately more trainees from a non-UK background are referred for professional support.

In the last year a focus group meeting with IMG’s currently working in Wessex, highlighted many join the NHS after a gap in training and tailored supportive return to training could be non-existent.  This is particularly difficult as IMG’s adjust to new environments at different levels all at once.

The main difficulties IMG’s reported fall into six themes.  These are:

  1. Communication and language e.g. understanding local dialect or regional accents, being assertive with older people and seniors, communicating with confidence and understanding body language and non-direct gestures.
  2. Lack of tailored support and career guidance including from IMG’s in senior posts.
  3. Understanding UK rules e.g. recruitment, Visa, tax rules, financial advice, contracts and entitlement.
  4. UK examination systems especially role play using actors.
  5. Managing patients’ expectations.
  6. Working in a system that favours UK graduates and having to accept lower positions.

The focus group provided suggestions for better support.  Following two senior educators’ workshops at the Wessex Medical Educators' Forum in January 2018 it was decided that to fully understand the issues and devise lasting tailored support for IMG’s, Health Education England (HEE), Wessex local team would create a new fellowship programme for supporting IMGs.


Fellowship Programme

This will be a team of five fellows, supported by two senior educators (Dr Fatima El-Bakri and Dr Stuart Purcell) who will provide mentorship once a month, and an Associate Dean (Dr Jennifer Dolman) for one year.

The fellows will have their own one-day induction, followed by participation in HEE’s Quality Improvement individual programme.  They will work as a team to develop a Wessex Strategy for IMG’s using quality improvement methodology. 

Whether the fellows work together on one project, undertake projects in partnership or have their own area will be agreed at the induction day. 

The outcome is a Wessex strategy which will be reviewed annually and monitored by the designated Associate Dean and Professional Development Unit.

Administrative support to the programme is provided by Julie Worthington.



Date Activity
Early July 2018 Advertise
Early August 2018 Interview and appoint
13 September 2018 Induction day run alongside QI Fellowship induction day. Dr Fatima El-Bakri to lead
January 2019 Presentation at the 2019 Wessex Medical Educators' Forum to ascertain views of draft strategy
End March 2019 Strategy finished
April to August 2019 Strategy put into operation


For further information please contact

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