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Med Teach. 2011;33(7):e364-7. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.577469.

Improving written and verbal communication skills for international medical graduates: a linguistic and medical approach.

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Reache North West, UK.



Adapting to UK communication styles can be difficult for International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Reache Northwest provides education, training and support for internationally trained refugee and asylum seeking health professionals who are looking to return to work in the UK.


A Safe and Effective Communication Skills course was designed by a team of language teachers and clinicians to provide IMGs with an understanding of the written, verbal and summarisation skills required in the UK work environment.


A series of language exercises adapted to clinical situations was developed. These increased in complexity to the practical application of language skills in clinical settings using simulated patients. The combination of language and clinical tutors meant that feedback could be given from a language teacher's perspective, the clinical perspective and the cultural context.


The combination of language and clinical tutors meant that analysis of communication difficulties could be made from different perspectives and detailed, specific feedback could be given to each student in these areas.


Using a combined linguistic and clinical approach can provide solutions to clinical communication problems that may otherwise be missed. This strategy could be extended to cover communication areas in other contexts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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