A rapid review of challenges faced by early-career international medical graduates in general practice and opportunities for supporting them.
Jager A., Harris M., Terry R.
BACKGROUND: British General Practice is facing a workforce crisis against a backdrop of an ageing population experiencing increasingly complex health challenges. The National Health Service must increase the supply of General Practitioners (GPs), including International Medical Graduate (IMG) GPs, by increasing recruitment and retention. IMG GPs face distinct challenges during training and their early careers. Understanding these challenges as well as the help and support offered to early-career IMG GPs is crucial to building and sustaining the general practice workforce. AIM: To understand the challenges facing early-career IMG GPs and the help and support they can access. DESIGN & SETTING: Rapid review. METHOD: Six databases and four websites were searched. Titles and abstracts were screened according to inclusion and exclusion criteria, followed by the full study where applicable. The included studies were analysed using a thematic synthesis approach to identify the challenges faced by early-career IMG GPs, as well as the help and support available. RESULTS: The database search yielded 234 studies, with 38 additional studies identified via handsearching of websites. Twenty-one studies were included. Seven challenges were identified, as well as a range of help and support available. Early-career IMG GPs face a range of psychological, social, and practical challenges which may not be adequately addressed by the help and support currently offered by the NHS. CONCLUSION: Further research is required to understand the extent to which early-career IMG GPs access the help and support offered, and if it adequately addresses the unique challenges they face.