IMGs focus of fewer complaints

INTERNATIONAL medical graduates (IMGs) in private practice are far less likely to have a complaint made against them than their Australian counterparts, a study has found.

The study of 384 doctors in private practice in Victoria found that while one in five will experience a patient complaint every 10 years, IMGs were much less complaint-prone – to the extent that the study authors suggested there may be a “protective effect” associated with training outside Australia.

Dr Viney Joshi, president of the Australian Doctors Trained Overseas Association, was not surprised at the findings.

“It’s a bit of a sport in this country to beat up IMGs, and this evidence should put everything in perspective,” he said. 

“IMGs are under a lot of pressure [and] contrary to local thought are quite competent and often more careful because they know they’re under scrutiny all the time.”