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Enhancing digital induction for International Medical Graduates

Using digital technology to improve induction to our Trust for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with a view to IMGs feeling more supported and better prepared to work effectively.

Read comments 23
  • Proposal
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Aisling Diamond

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

There is recognised differential attainment affecting international medical graduates (IMGs) across the UK. Enhanced induction programmes and support systems are necessary to ensure that IMGs feel supported and a sense of belonging within their Trust. Feedback at our Trust identified failings in our current induction process for IMGs. The majority did not feel prepared prior to their first on call shift and were not informed of their role and shift pattern during their induction. Furthermore following induction IMGs reported a lack of confidence in knowledge of how to make referrals, locate hospital policies, order investigations and of the hospital layout. Stress was attributed to the induction process. We propose development of an online app for learning and induction resources, resources to help staff to settle into the area, provide a forum for discussion/ networking, resources to support supervisors, recording of training and measurement of wellbeing.

What does your project aim to achieve?


The project aims to improve induction to the Trust for International Medical Graduates through development of an online app for IMGs. The app will provide easy access to resources and opportunities for networking to make commencing work and living in N.Ireland easier for IMGs. Improvement will be evidenced by improved feedback and engagement with the platform.

Anticipated outcomes:

Expected benefits of this project include IMG doctors feeling more supported by the Trust and better prepared to work effectively with subsequent improved patient safety. This should result in improved staff morale, retention of staff and return of rotating trainees. The project should also provide further support for supervisors to improve relationships with trainees, aid trainee career progression and retention within the profession.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will be delivered by

  • Further engagement with stakeholders to gain insight into priorities for the online platform.
  • Collaboration with other Trusts and local training agency to ensuring a unified approach.
  • Development of the platform with software developers and IT, in conjunction with stakeholders.
  • Piloting use of the platform, learning from feedback and making adjustments where needed.
  • Introducing platform with induction of new IMGs and measuring impact on outcomes.

How is your project going to share learning?

IMG induction is an issue across various Trusts so the need for sharing of learning is vital. We will collaborate with other Trusts to share our learning both locally and across the UK and Ireland. This would be done in person via focus groups, through sharing information via our Trust Quality Improvement team, social media, via conferences and with the Q community. We will share our learning with our local medical training agency and aim to network with other training agencies / Trusts.

Pending success of the app we will aim to extend its use to other services within the Trust who recruit international trainees.

How you can contribute

  • Offers for networking with those with experience in developing online platforms who may offer further skills and knowledge.
  • Suggestions for resources to be added to app for trainees and trainers.
  • Suggestions and constructive criticism regarding the project.
  • Offers for networking with those with experience in and suggestions for delivering improvements for IMGs
  • Assistance/ opportunities to expand and share learning from project across UK/ Ireland

Plan timeline

4 Sep 2022 Identification of stakeholders; within and outside of Trust
18 Sep 2022 Engagement of stakeholders; establishing requirements of app/ data collection methodologies
16 Oct 2022 Identification of software developer
14 Nov 2022 Development of app
29 Jan 2023 Testing of app
5 Mar 2023 Training / education in use of the app
2 Apr 2023 Evaluation of app/ feedback
4 Jun 2023 Rolling out app within other Trusts/ services/ sharing learning


  1. Guest

    Salah 3 months ago

    I am one of the IMG in the second year of training here in NI. I can say this is really creative and at the same time necessary in order to prepare and familiarise IMGs with the system and protocols. This is because i think NI started to have more and more IMG than before compared with England, wales and Scotland. Not only this, I think, when I compared the induction I got here when I started with what other IMGs gets in England for instance (at some rotations I have started without getting proper induction), I can clearly see that I get much less preparation. They also get shadowing for at least 2 weeks in the first job but in my case for example I got only 4 days which I managed to organise myself with the hospital before my post started (unpaid).

  2. Guest

    Nicholas Cunningham 3 months ago

    An excellent proposal! Having previously worked as an IMG in an other country I all too aware of the difficulties IMG’s face. This app will certainly aid in the induction process, improving patient safety and IMG experiences. It can also act as a benchmark for numerous other services within the trust regarding improving international recruitment and induction.

  3. Guest

    Mohamed AboElnas 3 months ago

    Great Project. As and IMG myself and as Induction officer for international doctors in Southern Trust, this app can really help us make huge changes in improving the induction for international doctors. One of the main things we can do is gather all our tools and resources in one place instead of throwing different pathways at a new doctors already have difficulties settling in. Also We can send that app to the international doctors before joining us while they still applying for their visas so they can join us prepared and ready to work and only need minimal support afterwards.
    If we invested in international doctors, we can greatly help staff problems across our Trusts.

  4. Guest

    Michael Toal 3 months ago

    This sounds like a fantastic idea. There has been an attainment gap between IMG and UK graduates both in examinations and clinical practice for some time. This is undoubtably due to institutional barriers that IMGs face and have yet to be addressed successfully.

    Early intervention with thorough and relevant induction is essential to remove these barriers and allow the best opportunity for IMGs to thrive in the NHS. An online app with easily accessible material that is available 24 hours a day for reference is ideal in order to facilitate care on busy on call shifts

  5. Guest

    Éadaoin Hannon 3 months ago

    Exciting project and undoubtedly will have such an impact across the board and importantly on morale and hopefully staff retention. Changeover periods & Trust inductions can be overwhelming for everyone at best of times and undoubtedly more challenging for IMGs. A platform/app has promise with scope to evolve and roll out across trusts. Stakeholder engagement will be critical for success. Nimdta’s PSU online page has more general links for international graduates and an ambassador programme which is helpful. There is a gap for Trust specific IMG support and I feel the app may be the solution!! Good luck!

  6. Guest

    Peter Todd 3 months ago

    This is a great project idea. I have also noticed the additional challenges IMGs face in Northern Ireland currently and our lack of consideration of their needs is inadequate. Attracting and welcoming IMGs to NI should be a priority and would be of huge benefit to us as a healthcare system and society.

    As a suggestion, I know NIMDTA have been working hard to develop their Mentoring programme recently, including creating an electronic system (MentorNet). I wonder if this could be a useful network link to help arrange local mentors before and/or at the time of arrival in NI.

    Good luck with the project!

  7. Guest

    Richard McCrory 3 months ago

    Several thoughts / queries I hope are helpful...

    Is there a theory inspired orientation to the work? I see there was a a review in 2015 about the educational aspects of inducing IMGs, so I assume the scope with your project is more comprehensive than education alone? Amelia Kehoes realist synthesis in 2016 generated some theories of how such interventions could work. This could be a platform to test some of those theories out!

    I imagine a potential roadblock from some quarters would be the argument about equity of induction support for all trainees. What response would you give to the argument that IMGs need such support in an intentionally disproportionate way?

  8. Guest

    Milad Darrat 3 months ago

    This is an absolutely great project and desperately needed for all new IMG starters. I myself as IMG SpR trainne, had already faced a difficult start on moving into new health care system. I look forward to seeing this project and app come to light soon and wish all other trusts follow the same steps. After all, this will reflect on the patient safety and service provided.

  9. Guest

    Mohim Abod 3 months ago

    It’s great initiative.IMG digital app will be beneficial for new IMGs who will be working in Northern Ireland for the first time and will be easy way of how system works in Northern Ireland.Brilliant idea with one stop app to get all the information.

    I being an IMG myself will be happy to contribute with the ongoing Digital induction  in any way.All the best

  10. Guest

    Oonagh Mccloskey 3 months ago

    A great idea. Benefits to both the individual and the trust. Information delivered can be standardised and easily kept up to date. For the individual, they can return to review the information at any time.

  11. Guest

    Wendy Baird 3 months ago

    A great idea and much needed. Looking forward to seeing this project progress!

  12. Guest

    Miriam Hopkins 3 months ago

    Having experienced working as an IMG overseas in Australia myself I think this is an excellent idea and look forward to hearing the outcome.

  13. Guest

    Christopher Mohan 3 months ago

    I fully support the development of a digital platform for IMGs. I think it is essential that more specific and relevant information for IMGs is given at induction, and this could be provided via the digital platform. One of the things I found most helpful when I worked as an IMG abroad was when hospitals helped support networking, and your proposed project would be beneficial in achieving this. I think your plan to include the key stakeholders in guiding the priorities for the project will help ensure that IMGs are best supported and will hopefully improve their satisfaction with the Trust they are working in, increase retention and ultimately improve patient care. I look forward to hearing how this project progresses.

  14. Guest

    Eimear Maria McGovern 3 months ago

    I myself am an IMG abroad but have only experienced this in countries speaking my language. The transition to a new healthcare system can be difficult enough without the added barrier of language, which is often the case for UK/Ireland IMGs. A programme like this would surely go a long way helping IMGs make a smoother transition, which would transplant into a safer experience for patients

  15. Guest

    Kate Hill 3 months ago

    • I look forward to seeing how this project enhances the experience of the NHS for our colleagues from overseas and hope it can be expanded to the rest of the UK.
  16. Guest

    Helen Close 3 months ago

    Yes I feel an online platform for learning and induction resources for international medical graduates would be an excellent tool. I have witnessed how challenging induction can be for all and feel a new digitalised induction would be great benefit. I feel a one stop app would be of immense value as at times it is overwhelming to receive multiple emails and have to access multiple platforms.

    I can also provide feedback to show how induction could be improved and other suggestions to help improve the induction process if required, happy to email if needed!!

    1. Thanks, all help would be appreciated! We have identified that the large amount of information provided by different pathways can be overwhelming for IMGs. Hopefully having all the information available on an easy to use app will minimize the hassle and stress of having to access multiple platforms for information.

  17. Guest

    Wesam Elbaroni 3 months ago

    This is a great idea and I will be watching this space for the next stages. We have a dire need to bridge the gap  as more and more IMGs and doctors who are new to the region are taking up posts in Northern Ireland. Definitely an app/online format is best. Having focus groups to prioritise the tasks is important. As an IMG ambassador for NIMDTA I am more than happy to help advertise for this among the IMGs community if it is of help to you.

    1. Thankyou, that would be a great help! Many thanks your your very helpful suggestions, I will keep in contact.

  18. Guest

    Sharon Daly 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    An exciting idea that could be used across a number of service areas. Good luck with the next stage, I look forward to seeing the proposal

  19. It would be good to see this idea extended to primary care IMG staff induction as well. Perhaps though the vocational training schemes.

    1. Thanks, I wasn't aware of vocational training schemes but on researching they look like a good option for delivering it. Many thanks for your suggestion!

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