The NHS has looked to International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to increase the number of doctors, particularly in primary care. Over 10,000 IMGs joined the UK medical register during 2021/21.
IMGs face well-understood challenges in relocating into a demanding professional development role, combined with barriers including: the impact of living in an unfamiliar culture, speaking a different language and being away from family and support networks; the professional challenge associated with working as a doctor in a healthcare system which may have significant differences from their previous experience; potentially facing stereotyping and bias; and practical issues around accommodation, residency status and finance.
As a result, IMG progress to qualification is typically slower than their UK-educated peers. Health Education England – now merged with NHS England – developed a strategic national programme, delivered through its regional structure, to support IMGs during their progress to qualification as general practitioners.
This report, independently produced by Verve, comprises a review of the first year of this programme and recommendations for future development of support for IMGs entering primary care.