Poster Abstract

Understanding the Scope of Supervision, and Assessing the Faculty Development Needs of Supervising Physicians of Licensed IMGs (P013)

Tunde Olatunbosun (University of British Columbia); Chloe Wu (University of British Columbia); Gurveen Grewal (University of British Columbia); Brenna Lynn (University of British Columbia); Harry Karlinsky (University of British Columbia)


This mixed quantitative and qualitative study was conducted to better understand the scope of supervision of licensed IMGs and the faculty development needs of the supervising physicians of IMGs. It identified areas to be addressed to facilitate a more effective supervisory experience.

Funding Sources: Technology Enabled Knowledge Translation Investigative Centre (TEKTIC) and Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)


In BC, international medical graduates (IMGs) with qualified credentials are provisionally licensed to practice under physician supervision. The supervisory activities and relationship associated with IMG supervision are unique in comparison to the clinical supervision of medical students and residents. This study aimed to understand the scope of supervision and explore the support needs of supervising physicians of licensed IMGs.


In spring 2010, 363 supervisors of provincially licensed IMGs in BC were invited to participate in a needs assessment survey (web-based and paper-based) regarding supervision engagement and activities, understanding of supervision and supervisor role, and perceived challenges and support needs. Sixty-eight supervisors completed the survey. Follow-up focus groups were conducted with nine supervisors, discussing their perspectives on supervisory role and supervisory relationship with IMGs.


Over 90% of the survey respondents provided advice in adapting to practice environment, and monitored IMGs’ quality of care and professional attitudes. Over 85% of the respondents had never received training or support on supervising IMGs nor received feedback or an evaluation on the effectiveness of their supervision. Supervisors in the focus groups raised a range of concerns including: i) potential consequences of reporting IMGs’ performance such as community’s loss of a physician and jeopardizing an IMG’s license, and ii) potential legal implications of supervising IMGs in practice such as providing clinical advice.


This study identified that IMG supervisors need to better understand their roles and intricacies of supervising IMGs’, and require tools / resources for assessing IMGs’ practice and providing structured feedback to IMGs.

Study funded by the Technology Enabled Knowledge Translation Investigative Centre (TEKTIC) and Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)