Why America Needs Foreign Medical Graduates
By Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics,
Indiana University School of Medicine.
… The American system relies to a surprising extent on foreign medical graduates, most of whom are citizens of other countries when they arrive. By any objective standard, the United States trains far too few physicians to care for all the patients who need them. We rank toward the bottom of developed nations with respect to medical graduates per population.
… foreign medical graduates are also responsible for a considerable share of physicians practicing independently today. About a quarter of all doctors in the United States are foreign medical graduates.
… foreign medical graduates are more likely to practice in geographic areas of the country where there are physician shortages (typically nonurban areas), and they’re more likely to treat Medicaid patients.
“The diversity of American medicine — and the conversations, ideas and breakthroughs this diversity sparks — may be one reason for our competitiveness as a global leader in biomedical research and innovation.”