Julie Pattinson of CaHRU presented her work on reasons for variations in performance in the MRCGP Applied Knowledge Test at the recent International Medical Graduates’ conference at the Conference Hall, Centre for Medical & Dental Education, Pilgrim Hospital. Speakers included Dr Bijoy Sinha (GP Speciality Training Programme Director, Lincolnshire), Dr Nick Humphry (GP Speciality Training Programme Director, Lincolnshire), Dr Bevis Heap (Programme Director HEE, East Midlands) and Dr Sathya Naidoo (Associate Postgraduate Dean and ARCP Lead for the East Midlands).
The purpose of the meeting was to identify needs of IMGs to help support them in GP training with a specific focus on the trainers’ roles. There were around 50 attendees in total, with the majority of the audience being GP speciality programme directors, vocational training managers, GP trainers and General Practitioner Speciality Training Registrars (GPSTRs). Dr Humphry opened the conference talking about the challenges and opportunities for IMGs in primary care training. This was followed by a talk from Dr Heap, who spoke about the challenges identified for IMGs that are different from those of indigenous graduates. Dr Naidoo spoke about identifying ‘at risk’ GPSTRs and the RCGP iMAP.
Dr Julie Pattinson gave a presentation on ‘Understanding reasons for variation by ethnicity in performance of general practice specialty trainees in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Applied Knowledge Test: cognitive interview study’. Her talk was about the differences that exist in candidate performance in high stakes medical licensing examinations, specifically the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), between black and minority ethnic (BME) compared to white British doctors. The grounded theory analysis generated insights into reasons for difficulty in answering AKT questions in all participants, but it emerged that overseas trained (OST) participants do face additional difficulties answering AKT questions compared to UKGs and this could provide the basis for developing interventions to reduce differential attainment in UK specialty training for general practice. Feedback from Dr Humphrey following her talk stated ‘There was quite a buzz about it after and it stimulated a lot of conversation. I think our trainers and GPRs will find it useful when considering how to improve success in the AKT.’
During the afternoon session Dr Sinha delivered a talk about IMG in practice and the GPSTRs’ experience. Emphasis was placed on supporting IMGs in speciality training. There was a talk from a scheme graduate how to get the best out of training, understanding examinations and how they may be challenging. Overall the conference was very interactive and group discussions followed each presentation. In the afternoon there were workshops exploring problems and solutions for IMGs.
By Dr Julie Pattinson