Experience of overseas-trained health professionals in rural and remote areas of destination countries: A literature review

Sophia Dywili, Ann Bonner, Judith Anderson, Louise O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective:This study aimed to review and synthesise existing literature that investigated the experience of overseas-trained health professionals (OTHPs) in rural and remote areas of destination countries.Design:A systematic literature review was conducted using electronic databases and manual search of studies published from January 2004 to February 2011. Data were analysed from the final 17 original report articles that met the inclusion criteria.Results:The reviewed research studies were conducted in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Overseas-trained medical practitioners were the most frequently researched (n=14); two studies involved nurses and one study included several health professionals. Three main themes emerged from the review and these were: (i) expectations, (ii) cultural diversity, and (iii) orientation and integration to rural and remote health work environment. The OTHPs were expected to possess the appropriate professional and cultural skills while they themselves expected recognition of their previous experiences and adequate organisational orientation and support. A welcoming and accepting community coupled with a relaxed rural lifestyle and the joy of continued patient care resulted in successful integration and contributed to increased staff retention rates. Conclusions:Recognition of expectations and cultural diversity by all parties and comprehensive orientation with sufficient organisational support are important elements in the integration of OTHPs and subsequent delivery of quality health care to people living in rural and remote areas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

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