Organization Development



Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Alla Heorhiadi

Second Advisor

John Conbere

Third Advisor

Melanie Sullivan


The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of foreign born physicians in the United States and to uncover the essence and deeper meaning of this experience. To that end, seven participants were interviewed in depth about their experience as foreign born physicians in the United States. All the interviews followed a natural progression in which all participants chose to start with their childhood and life in their countries of origin. They continue to progress slowly to the present time, and ended with future plans; regardless of their age.

The participants discussed in detailed how their experience was transformational and what obstacles they had to overcome to grow in ways they had not anticipated. They were clear about their mission from an early age and they embarked on a journey that led them to the United States. They were able to pursue their dreams and accomplish their goals.

A number of contextual and essential themes emerged from the study. The contextual themes reflected circumstances that enabled participants’ experience, such as: a) access to education, b) good role models and having support of others, and c) sense of adventure and desire to study abroad. The essential themes reflected the transformational experiences of participants. Participants a) followed their intuition and responded to the call to be a physician; b) went through a phase of searching self in the new environment; and c) accepted self and became content.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.