International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Does a host country capture knowledge of migrant doctors and how might it? A study of UK doctors in New Zealand

  • Robin GauldEmail author
  • Simon Horsburgh
Original Article



To investigate International Medical Graduate (IMG) perspectives on opportunities to share technical knowledge and professional experience with host country professionals and mechanisms for this.


All IMGs from the UK registered with the New Zealand Medical Council who had arrived within the decade to 2014 were surveyed (n = 1357). The main outcome measures were respondent perceptions of host country receptivity to their potential knowledge contribution, and mechanisms through which knowledge might be shared.


The survey response rate was 47 % (n = 632). 82 % of respondents agreed colleagues had been receptive to their knowledge contribution; 67 % felt they had been encouraged to share professional knowledge gained abroad; 60 % agreed they had been encouraged to share knowledge of the UK or other health systems. Only 45 % believed there were clear mechanisms in place for knowledge sharing. Statistically significant differences by age and professional practice designation were found.


Knowledge transfer in the New Zealand context appeared to be relatively ad hoc. Options for improving knowledge transfer include formal organisational arrangements, use of knowledge brokers and building communities of practice in different areas.


International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Knowledge sharing UK New Zealand 



The authors are grateful to the Medical Council of New Zealand for supporting this research; to the respondents; to the NZ-UK Link Foundation for sponsoring the first author as a visiting professor at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study in 2014; and to those who attended talks given by the first author in London and Leeds in 2014 and who commented on some of the data and ideas reported in this article.

Compliance with ethical standards


This research received no specific Grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Policy, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Centre for Health SystemsUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Epidemiology, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Centre for Health SystemsUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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