The Influence of Culture on the Learning, Performance and Professional Development of Doctors and their Teams

Workshops designed and delivered in collaboration with Health Education England (Wessex) and NHS South of England

These workshops are for educational supervisors, teachers, appraisers, GP trainers, managers and management staff whose role is relevant to the topic. We also warmly welcome doctors in training who have an interest in developing their skills and understanding in readiness to work with diverse patient populations.

Some background information – what are the drivers of these Workshops?

Our professional partnership began with a shared interest in these research questions

  • Does the culture of origin of an individual doctor play any part in shaping professional attitudes and behaviour?
  • If so, might it also influence the way in which they subsequently develop their professional identity?

The backdrop to this research was our awareness that many of our colleagues from overseas performed less well when they came into UK NHS training and professional development programmes. Data regarding their performance from Postgraduate Examinations, the GMC, and relevant professional bodies continues to confirm this - but we wanted to know more about why that might be. Both of us have worked, trained, and taught abroad, in a variety of different cultures, meeting intelligent and dedicated doctors who are extremely successful in their own country; an experience which made evident that under-performance cannot easily and simply be explained by lack of knowledge. We wanted to explore more, to see if we could identify factors contributing to the challenges faced when moving across cultures.


The themes emerging from our work form some of the key elements that underpin our workshops – themes that are developed and extended by the questions and discussion arising from the workshop participants themselves, as they use the opportunity to share and reflect on their own experiences and unpick the interwoven layers of personal and professional culture.