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Kaiser Permanente Grant to Expand UCLA International Medical Center Graduate Program
Date:5/5/2009

$2 Million Grant to Help Increase Hispanic Family Physicians in California

LOS ANGELES and OAKLAND, Calif., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today a $2 million grant to the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, to expand its International Medical Graduate Program. The program targets international medical school graduates who are committed to serving California's vulnerable communities and need to pass United States Medical Licensing Exams. After obtaining licensure in the United States, the program will place the graduate students in family medicine residency program positions in California.

The IMG program, administered through the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, addresses the shortage of primary care providers, who are the main source of health care for an increasingly diverse, aging and uninsured U.S. population.

"We predict California will face a physician shortage of up to 17,000 by 2015 and this shortage disproportionately affects underserved communities," said Patrick T. Dowling MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at UCLA and co-founder of the IMG program. "Meanwhile, about 2,500 licensed physicians from Mexico and Latin America are legally residing in California but are not practicing medicine because they are not yet licensed in this country. The UCLA IMG program is committed to helping these skilled individuals navigate the road to licensure."

The shortage of primary care physicians in the United States becomes more acutely evident during health crises because it is during those times that disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted due to a lack of access to care. The goal of the IMG program is to infuse the workforce with culturally competent physicians who are committed to providing primary care to those most in need.

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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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