Joint initiative for international medical graduates in Scotland

A joint initiative by our College Engagement Team and NHS Education for Scotland is paving the way for international medical graduates (IMGs) in Scotland to access additional support to help them settle into their new roles within the NHS.

Joint initiative for international medical graduates in Scotland

Dr Mo Al-Haddad

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A joint initiative by our College Engagement Team and NHS Education for Scotland is paving the way for international medical graduates (IMGs) in Scotland to access additional support to help them settle into their new roles within the NHS.

The Engagement Team, who have been working with doctors who have moved to the UK as part of the ‘Medical Training Initiative (MTI)’ scheme, had heard first hand from doctors on the MTI that they often found the adjustment to the NHS quite challenging. Similarly, the IMGs attending the NHS Education for Scotland IMG Induction felt the same challenges. Responding to this feedback, both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and NHS Education for Scotland identified opportunities for joint working to support in the international graduates.

From this, the Associate Postgraduate Dean (Quality) at NHS Education for Scotland, Dr Mo Al-Haddad became involved. The OASIS – Ongoing Active Support for IMGs in Scotland – programme was subsequently developed as a consequence of this partnership.

Launched in 2020, OASIS addresses educational needs specific to IMGs at all levels of their training. The IMGs in turn have been providing their personal feedback, which is further helping to shape the training that’s required.

Since its launch, Professor Amjad Khan, Director of Postgraduate General Practice Education at NHS Education for Scotland has also been included, due to his running a similar project (STEP Programme) for GP trainees.

Dr Al-Haddad, said:

“We value the contribution of IMGs. I am an IMG myself and we offer a wide range of support measures here in Scotland, including a comprehensive orientation programme as well as support network through Facebook and other activities.

“Now through the OASIS programme we’ve run a series of educational events that covered topics from acculturation and simulation to career advice and wellbeing.”

The plan originally was to run events in small numbers in the College however, the effects of COVID-19 changed this and it now takes place online. The first series of the programme was held in September 2020 and ran across three online sessions. The sessions focused on cultural aspects, wellbeing and resilience and careers. A further session was then completed in February 2021.

Now in September 2021, there are two new interactive sessions taking place, held virtually over Microsoft Teams. On 8 September, the OASIS programme’s ‘Career Planning for IMG Foundation Doctors’ gives the chance to learn about the different career pathways available to you in an informal and interactive session. You will hear from Dr Al-Haddad, Professor Khan and guest speaker Dr Surinder Panpher, Associate Post Graduate Dean for Careers from NHS Education for Scotland.

This is a fantastic opportunity for FY1/2 International Medical Graduates looking for useful advice and guidance as you embark on your career within the NHS. 

Following this, on 22 September, ‘Communication and Difficult Conversations’ will have talks from Dr Mo Al-Haddad, Professor Amjad Khan and guest speaker Professor John Skelton Professor of Clinical Communication to discuss communication and difficult conversations in the workplace.


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