Training Needs of International Medical Graduates [IMGs] in Psychiatry


The potential shortage of psychiatrists over the next 5 - 10 years has focused attention on the need to recruit more IMGs to fill the needs rather than use nurse practitioners or physician assistants. IMGs make up about 1/3 of first year psychiatry residents. These individuals have been found to provide services to the poor, the elderly and the psychotic. The quality of their medical work has been found to be satisfactory. The training needs of these physicians require an understanding on the part of their teachers that they come from cultures with different values that we have. The extended families of these primarily Asian residents clash with our strong commitment to individualism. It leads to a We-self rather than our I-Self. This difference coupled with the stress of leaving to come to a new culture is a great stress. Their exposure to psychiatry has been limited. They request and need more interview demonstration and practice, ore feedback and examinations. They should have help in accent reduction. They should be exposed to the working of the hospital by sitting on departmental and hospital committees. The faculty should extend their social opportunities and work as mentors on joint projects. Courses on the history of American culture should be taught. Psychotherapy for them should be encouraged as well as teaching medical ethics. They must become the major educational concern for the department that they are in.

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Kramer, M. (2014) Training Needs of International Medical Graduates [IMGs] in Psychiatry. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 295-300. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.44036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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