Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services are heavily dependent on overseas-trained doctors (OTDs).

These OTDs are increasingly from countries with variable English language and educational equivalency compared with locally trained doctors. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services create particular demands for all doctors, such as negotiating “cultural domains” and acknowledging the contribution of Aboriginal health workers. Little is known about the roles and experience of OTDs in health service provision in Indigenous communities. Barriers to effective research into the experience of OTDs include privacy legislation and a lack of standardised data.

Researching the narratives of OTDs in Indigenous health services offers an opportunity to explore the diversity and complexity of the cultural interfaces in health service provision.