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‘All these allied health professionals and you’re not really sure when you use them’ : insights from Australian international medical graduates on working with allied health
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Pamela McgrathPamela Mcgrath, David HendersonDavid Henderson, J Tamargo, Hamish HolewaHamish Holewa
Objective: This paper presents the findings of research which explored how International Medical Graduates (IMGs) understand and integrate with the allied health system in relation to multidisciplinary care. Methods: An open-ended, exploratory qualitative design comprised of thirty (n = 30) open-ended, in-depth interviews with IMGs employed in a public hospital in Queensland, Australia. Results: Many IMGs have no experience with allied health support in their country of origin. Multidisciplinary collaboration is a new concept for IMGs integrating into the Australia healthcare system. Learning about the allied health system, including how to work effectively within the context of the multidisciplinary team, is an important topic that needs to be addressed as a matter of priority. Conclusions: There is a strong need to focus on improving strategies for integrating IMGs into the allied health system. In particular, IMGs require information to help them understand the roles and referral processes associated with interfacing with the allied health system. What is known about the topic?: To date, there is no research available on the important topic of how IMGs understand and integrate with the allied health system in relation to multidisciplinary care in the Australian healthcare system. What does this paper add?: The present findings make an important contribution to the literature by highlighting the need to focus on integrating IMGs into the allied health system. The findings presented in this paper indicate that, for the range of reasons summarised the IMGs’ understanding of the allied health system is limited. What are the implications for practitioners?: The IMGs in this study called for assistance in understanding the allied health system, a process they considered difficult to do on their own. The strong recommendation is that it is most appropriate for allied health professionals in the hospital to take such leadership, and such efforts will be met by a readiness to learn on the part of the IMGs.