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Experiences and expectations of refugee doctors: Qualitative study

  • S. Cohn (a1), J. Alenya (a2), K. Murray (a2), D. Bhugra (a3), J. De Guzman (a4) and U. Schmidt (a4)...

Abstract

Background

Refugee doctors constitute a potentially valuable resource for reducing the recruitment crisis in psychiatry. However, various hurdles make their route into the National Health Service (NHS) difficult.

Aims

To explore the perceptions and experiences of refugee doctors trying to practise psychiatry in the UK.

Method

Thirty-one refugee doctors participated in qualitative interviews designed to elicit their experiences in trying to practise as doctors in the UK. Twenty were re-interviewed about 6 months later.

Results

Doctors identified a range of practical problems that made it difficult for them to take the required steps towards practising in the UK. These included lack of appropriate information, lack of a clear route through the system and feelings of isolation. The English language examination was seen as a particular bottleneck, as were finding clinical attachments. The psychological impact of the experience was profound.

Conclusions

These findings have important implications for how refugee doctors are introduced to the practice of psychiatry in the NHS.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Ulrike Schmidt, Section of Eating Disorders, PO Box 59, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: u.schmidt@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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Adams, K. & Borman, E. (2000) Helping refugee doctors. BMJ, 320, 887888.
Brown, C. & Lloyd, K. (2001) Qualitative methods in psychiatric research. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 7, 350356.
Department of Health (2000) Report of the Working Group on Refugee Doctors and Dentists. London: Department of Health.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005) 12th Annual Census of Psychiatric Staffing 2004. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists. http://www.rcpsych/pdf/census1.pdf
Silverman, D. (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text, and Interaction. London: Sage.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Experiences and expectations of refugee doctors: Qualitative study

  • S. Cohn (a1), J. Alenya (a2), K. Murray (a2), D. Bhugra (a3), J. De Guzman (a4) and U. Schmidt (a4)...
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