Did you know more than 25 percent of all physicians in the U.S. went to medical school outside the United States? At EVMS, international medical graduates (IMGs) make up about 22 percent of residents and fellows.

There can be a number of challenges for IMGs including communication, racial bias and sensitive topics.

To help the large number of IMGs at EVMS adjust, the Graduate Medical Education team created a mandatory IMG boot camp.

“We started this program because we had several requests to do an orientation program to prepare these trainees for their programs and patients in the U.S.,” says says Agatha Parks-Savage, EdD, RN, Assistant Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at EVMS. “Our goal is to set them up for success as they begin their training in this new culture and for them to develop a support network of other IMGs at EVMS.”

The boot camp includes interactive training on interpersonal communication skills, diversity, creating a support system and using mindfulness to build resiliency.

Students also have a chance to role play with standardized patients. They work through scenarios such as patients being afraid to have a physician who is from another country and how to manage conflict with a colleague who “thinks” they are better than them.