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To understand the communication strategies international medical graduates use in medical interactions to overcome language and cultural barriers.
In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 international physicians completing their residency training in internal medicine in a large hospital in Midwestern Ohio. The interview explored (a) barriers participants encountered while communicating with their patients regarding language, affect, and culture, and (b) communication convergence strategies used to make the interaction meaningful.
International physicians use multiple convergence strategies when interacting with their patients to account for the intercultural and intergroup differences, including repeating information, changing speaking styles, and using non-verbal communication. PRACTICE
Understanding barriers to communication faced by international physicians and recognizing accommodation strategies they employ in the interaction could help in training of future international doctors who come to the U.S. to practice medicine. Early intervention could reduce the time international physicians spend navigating through the system and trying to learn by experimenting with different strategies which will allow these physicians to devote more time to patient care. We recommend developing a training manual that is instructive of the socio-cultural practices of the region where international physician will start practicing medicine.
School of Communication, The Ohio State University, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Patient education and counseling
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Communication, in the sense of cross-fertilization of ideas, involving two or more academic disciplines (such as the disciplines that comprise the cross-disciplinary field of bioethics, including the health and biological sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences and law). Also includes problems in communication stemming from differences in patterns of language usage in different academic or medical disciplines.
Transmission of emotions, ideas, and attitudes between individuals in ways other than the spoken language.
Those factors, such as language or sociocultural relationships, which interfere in the meaningful interpretation and transmission of ideas between individuals or groups.
The transfer of information from experts in the medical and public health fields to patients and the public. The study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health.
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