Differences in the experiences and expectations of EEA and non-EEA overseas doctors working in the UK

Grant, Janet; Jones, Helen; Kilminster, Sue; MacDonald, Morag; Maxted, Mairead; Nathanson, Brenda and Owen, Heather (2005). Differences in the experiences and expectations of EEA and non-EEA overseas doctors working in the UK. Archives of Ibadan Medicine, 6(2) pp. 52–55.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4314/aim.v6i2.34627


Overseas doctors make up approximately one third of all hospital-based trainees in the United Kingdom. About 8 percent come from Nigeria and about 21 percent from sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.

A survey determined overseas doctors’ experiences of UK training, levels of satisfaction and congruence of expectations and experience. The study compared trainees who qualified in the UK with those who qualified in the European Economic Area [EEA] and those who qualified elsewhere [non-EEA].

The reputation of UK training was a major factor in attracting overseas doctors. EEA and non-EEA doctors experienced greater difficulties in constructing a smooth training path than did their UK counterparts. Non-EEA doctors found greater difficulty in acquiring a training post at an appropriate level and in their existing specialty. EEA and non-EEA trainees experienced more gaps in training than did UK doctors. All groups of doctors had experienced discrimination to varying degrees.

However, on 12 out of 14 aspects of training, non-EEA doctors are the most satisfied while on 9 parameters, UK trainees are the least satisfied. On 5 out of 7 parameters, EEA and non-EEA doctors rate training in the UK as better than they had expected.

The new UK Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board is set to improve all aspects of training including issues of particular concern to overseas doctors.

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