Mapping evidence from the literature about the experience of internationally educated health professionals to Canadian professional competency profiles of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and pharmacists

Michael E. Kalu, Ukachukwu O. Abaraogu, Kathleen E. Norman Dr

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to review experiences of internationally educated health care professionals (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and pharmacists) in their new country and to map these experiences using a competency framework. Method: Database (Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO) were systematically searched to include articles published between 2000 and 2017 and were used to describe the experiences of internationally educated health care professionals (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and pharmacists) in attaining registration in new country. The data were synthesized using conventional content analysis. Emerging themes were mapped across a competency framework based on the profiles of the selected professions. Result: Thirteen articles were included; most of the studies were conducted in Canada and among internationally educated medical doctors. Themes were mapped to all the roles in the professional competency profiles, except the health advocate role. The communicator role was the most frequently discussed; internationally educated health care professionals often needed to improve in culture-specific communication, including verbal and non-verbal cues, during assessment, documentation, and treatment of clients. A pictorial representation was created for describing internationally educated health care professionals' deficiencies in roles/competencies for professional practice. In this representation, cultural-language and confidence deficits contributed to the deficiencies seen in roles and competencies among internationally educated health care professionals in their new country. Conclusion: Internationally educated health care professionals' ability to fulfill the explicit roles in the competency profiles may depend largely on having good cultural-language competence as well as confidence. Exposing the internationally educated health care professionals to local practice is one of the strategies for cultural-language and confidence enhancement consistent with findings reported in the nursing profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13
JournalInternet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

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Keywords

  • international educated health care professionals
  • professional competency profiles
  • international mobility

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