Program evaluation of a model to integrate internationally educated health professionals into clinical practice
Department of Physical Therapy, Wesbrook Mall, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:140 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-140Published: 11 October 2013
The demand for health professionals continues to increase, partially due to the aging population and the high proportion of practitioners nearing retirement. The University of British Columbia (UBC) has developed a program to address this demand, by providing support for internationally trained Physiotherapists in their preparation for taking the National Physiotherapy competency examinations.
The aim was to create a program comprised of the educational tools and infrastructure to support internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPs) in their preparation for entry to practice in Canada and, to improve their pass rate on the national competency examination.
The program was developed using a logic model and evaluated using program evaluation methodology. Program tools and resources included educational modules and curricular packages which were developed and refined based on feedback from clinical experts, IEPs and clinical physical therapy mentors. An examination bank was created and used to include test-enhanced education. Clinical mentors were recruited and trained to provide clinical and cultural support for participants.
The IEP program has recruited 124 IEPs, with 69 now integrated into the Canadian physiotherapy workforce, and more IEPs continuing to apply to the program. International graduates who participated in the program had an improved pass rate on the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE); participation in the program resulted in them having a 28% (95% CI, 2% to 59%) greater possibility of passing the written section than their counterparts who did not take the program. In 2010, 81% of all IEP candidates who completed the UBC program passed the written component, and 82% passed the clinical component.
The program has proven to be successful and sustainable. This program model could be replicated to support the successful integration of other international health professionals into the workforce.