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Overseas doctors' health

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 01 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0605204
  1. Julie Sladden, freelance medical journalist1
  1. 1Leicester

Julie Sladden explores the difficulties facing international medical graduates, and how these can affect their health and wellbeing

Imagine you're a doctor working in a large regional hospital. One day, quite out of the blue, your colleagues start behaving strangely, like they're following a different set of social rules. Frustratingly, everyone in your team seems to know these unwritten rules, except you. As the day goes on you feel yourself becoming increasingly stressed and isolated, so it's a relief when you can finally go home to your family. You arrive home only to find a note from your partner to say that he or she has been offered a job and has moved 150 miles away with your child, but that they will come and visit at the weekend. You are just about to call your partner when the phone rings—it's your mum saying she and the rest of your relatives and friends are moving to the other side of the world.

“I can't show any chinks in my armour. I have to be twice as good as my British educated colleagues”

This sounds an unbelievable scenario, but don't laugh. You've just faced some of the issues that international medical graduates (IMGs) experience when they come to …

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